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It seemed the second highness had picked an incredibly dangerous route for the sake of attacking the city. Five years earlier, the second highness had exterminated the first prince's force of 30 thousand elite troops at Flowater Creek and had continued his assault on the kingdom. After encircling Frederika with his troops, he forced the first prince to sign an agreement to cede two provinces to the Andinaq kingdom. The new border was drawn along the Northern Province and the Kanbona.

The Northwestern Province was the hilly coastal area Lorist and the convoy had passed through all those years ago. Neither the second highness nor the first prince paid any attention to it, to go to the Redlis kingdom's capital from there one would have to first cross the wide Morrison river, one would also have to pass through Kanbona. The ideal route for an attack on Frederika was through this very province, which was why the second highness had managed to capture it during his previous invasion.

He could not do the same thing this town around. By the time the second highness had gathered his thousand soldiers, the king of the Redlis kingdom, first prince Krissen Redlis, hadn't just sat by idly, he had gathered up large sums of money and a lot of resources to reinforce the forces stationed in Kanbona. All over the province, there were well-defended citadels with wide moats and tall walls. If the second highness wanted to reach Frederika, he would have to conquer one citadel after another to clear his path to the capital.

They will never be able to conquer the capital. After this battle, I can promise you the punk will not dare to attack our kingdom for at least 20 years," the first prince had once said to his officials proudly. The prince understood the importance of wearing down the thousand-strong army well. He had gathered all the family members of military officials above the rank of Squad Leader in Frederika under the ruse of keeping them safe for that very reason. Everyone knows it was just a ruse, however.

If they didn't do enough damage to the second highness' forces, and the city fell, their families would fall with it. It was the prince's plan that this knowledge would motivate the forces defending Kanbona to fight to the death. The prince felt that, even though his move was incredibly cruel, this was the only way his soldiers would be desperate enough to take down three soldiers before falling. In essence, the first prince was prepared to sacrifice 70 thousand soldiers to grind away at the second highness's forces as much as possible. Nobody had expected that the second highness would be even more savage than the first prince, savage to himself and his own forces no less!

He actually personally led his soldiers through Greatsnow Mountain in such horrible weather. Despite losing three-quarters of his troops, he managed to take Frederika in one fell swoop, forcing the first prince to flee the capital. Lorist looked at the map in awe.

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It was worth noting that the second highness had delivered an impassioned speech just a month earlier at the capital of his own kingdom, pledging to restore the Krissen Empire to its former state. It was also said that he would be busy with the funeral of the third prince, patrolling the front lines and making preparations for war.

It caused others to think that he would only attack the Redlis kingdom during the 4th or 5th month, as was military convention. Nobody had dared to imagine that the second highness would conquer Frederika just one month later. Such speed shocked and awed many. Charade pointed at the map and exclaimed, "Good heavens!

The second highness actually made his way across the Cloudsnap mountain range and scaled Greatsnow Mountain It is completely suicidal It's far too risky. There was a natural barrier in the Bodolger province, between the capital and the northwestern area of Kanbona. The barrier was known as the Cloudsnap mountain range. It was a densely packed collection of tall mountains and dense forests. Additionally, Greatsnow Mountain, situated in the middle of the mountain range, was easily taller than 10 normal mountains combined. Snow piled up on the mountain and didn't melt easily.

The terrain was also incredibly hard to scale.

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It was difficult, if not outright impossible, to cross over. Despite that, the second highness cut through like a dagger flung at a snake. He only managed to cross the Cloudsnap mountain range thanks to his timing. The Cloudmist Swamp stretches for around 50 kilometers along the bottom of the range. It is said that the swamp is formed from the melted snow that gathers up in the area. If the second highness attempted to cross during summer or fall, it would take him at least two or three months.

But during winter, most of Cloudmist Swamp is frozen, allowing the troops to travel into the deeper parts of the mountain range without restraint. After that, they only have to make their way over Greatsnow Mountain to arrive at Bodolger," explained Lorist.

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No wonder he's hailed as one of the greatest military strategists of the new generation. To think that he actually grasped an opportunity that hidden, his fame is completely deserved! Lorist sighed and said, "It's a shame that his losses are not small. Only of the 30 thousand troops survived the journey. It seems that he didn't make sufficient preparations. Lorist could already infer that the second highness had only mobilized his so-called elite troops, but didn't have enough knowledge of the troubles of winter.

Had he been better prepared, he wouldn't have had to attack the city with so few soldiers. Lorist's guess was actually correct. Only around soldiers died from the hike across the mountain range.

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But more than 20 thousand of them perished due to the extreme cold. Less than , able to resist the cold with battleforce, survived. It was still more than enough to defeat the unprepared troops defending the city. Had he done so, he would have lost more than thousand troops easily. Considering this, his choice was the wiser, despite the losses he suffered," argued one of the military officials of the Peterson Merchant Guild.

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Does first prince stand a chance to make a victorious comeback? Unless some sort of miracle happens, the first prince will not be able to escape defeat," commented Lorist. The second highness only managed to conquer Frederika thanks to the element of surprise. The soldiers he has at hand now is far too little. If the first prince manages to form an army a few ten thousand strong, the second highness might just lose," said the very same military official, still taking the other side of Lorist's argument. How would the First Prince be able to gather more troops, now that Frederika has already fallen?

Who would bother to aid him now that he's on the run, powerless and poor? And who would be willing to fight to their deaths for him just to retake a city that isn't their home? His righteous cause is reason enough! The first prince is nothing but a traitor, one of those who raised the flag of rebellion and caused the empire to split. While he was definitely worth reckoning with when he had troops, the loss of Frederika means that he no longer has any riches left with which to form an army.

Who, then, would bother with a beggar like him? It's already incredibly merciful not to outright kill him on and present his head to the second highness. Traitor or not, he's still a king. But the title will do him no good. The nobles will help him superficially at most. Even if he did get a couple of soldiers, there's no way he'll be able to take the city back, which is his own fault given how heavily he fortified the city's walls. Also, all the valuable resources and equipment are kept within the city.

After conquering Frederika, he will definitely use his spoils to recruit more troops. Even though he only has around right now, his force will definitely grow three to four times in less than a fortnight. The 8th month soon passed and he finally received news of Auguslo through an envoy.

The man asked him to not dally around the demonic lands anymore. He hurriedly returned to Hans, Delamock's capital. There he realized the three dukes had brought their remaining subjects and were on the way to their new dominions. Kenmays had long received proof of kingdom-wide two-year tax exemption for the committee, so he'd hurried back to organize the transportation and distribution of various goods.

He left a letter for Lorist which said it was a huge deal estimated to rake in a million gold Fordes in revenue. If he could satisfy the three dukes and receive more orders from the three new dominions, it could turn into a long-term business relationship.

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Duke Fisablen had also left with Third Frontier and the reserve legion with the rewards Auguslo had given him without meeting Lorist first. Only Felim and Shazin had remained at Hans with their forces. The two new garrison legions were there as well. As for the restaffed Whitelion, they had left for Majik half a month earlier on their king's orders. They were tasked with guarding Anderwoff's border to keep the Union from invading. Lorist's two companions didn't look good when they received him. They appeared rather frustrated. Felim spat on the ground harshly after handing over Kenmays's letter before he told Lorist what had happened.

Auguslo had duped him and reworded 30 thousand youths into 30 thousand people. There were less than seven thousand youths among them and the rest were their families. Felim complained that even though his reward was similar to Duke Fisablen's, who received all 50 thousand youths and had a total of thousand people, their families included, Auguslo suppressed his complaints. The reason was that Duke Fisablen had expanded the empire's borders and required more people for his dominion to prevent the lands from returning to being a breeding ground for grassland barbarians.

Southern, however, was well within the empire's borders and faced no threats, so its population could grow naturally with the passage of time. Additionally, Auguslo also compared Duke Fisablen and Felim's forces. He had said House Fisablen's reserve legion suffered heavy casualties during the expedition, with more than ten thousand dead, while Pegasus hadn't suffered nearly as much since it was tasked with scouting and patrolling. So, his reward was naturally inferior to Duke Fisablen's. While he could only accept his bad luck.

Shazin's matter was different entirely. Auguslo had given him two options. The first was to choose either Rimad or Messen as his hereditary dominion; the second, to wait until the kingdom reclaimed the territories the Union currently occupied. The latter would yield the house Bodolger, home to Frederika. Shazin didn't want either. Rimad only produced lumber and stones and high-quality materials like gold crystals, black crystals, and red maple wood.

However, there was no demand for such things in the chaotic time of war they were currently in. Messen also produced quite a bit of mineable resources, but it was worth something because of its quantity, not its quality. For example, the two silver and one copper mines only had small ore veins that would run out after some 30 years of mining. The quality of the mined ore was also disappointing and it was considered a rather bad place to mine.

Shazin didn't want to pick either Messen or Rimad, mainly because the two provinces had been ravaged thoroughly by the minor nobles' army at the start of the civil war, becoming barren and unpopulated. Naturally, the alliance had obtained some benefits, but Auguslo's decision to give either of the provinces to House Shazin felt like an insult even to Lorist directly.

No matter which province Shazin received, he would have to invest huge sums of money to gather refugees and spur development. It wouldn't recover for at least two to three decades. Auguslo's second offer also greatly enraged Shazin. Bodolger was the dominion of one of the Union's big-seven, Wessia. While Bodolger was a huge mining province, the question was: Shazin was very worried the answer was, 'not soon at all'. He might not even live to see the day. Additionally, he was worried that if he accepted Auguslo's second offer, House Shazin would be pushed to the forefront of battle in the name of reclaiming its dominion, which would push it into conflict with the rest of the alliance.

While he appeared the rough one of the four, being greedy and a little daft with a common family background, he was no idiot. He understood on what House Shazin was dependent. Without Lorist's, House Kenmays', and Felim's care, he would be nothing. He might even be wiped out before he managed to truly establish his house.

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  • He would rather remain at Lorist's side than join Auguslo. After all, Lorist's words were far more trustworthy than that king's. Lorist, at the very least, wouldn't forget to share some of the benefits. If it were Auguslo, he couldn't count on getting anything out of him other than trouble. He would be lucky if the man cared at all. The king praised someone to high heavens and tossed them away with the same mouth.

    Shazin could see this clearly. He had refused the king's offers and asked for Kribia instead, one of Farkel's old provinces. Its main products were rock salt, gold silver, purple bronze, white lead, and black iron. There were also dozens of other resources and it provided around a million gold Fordes annually.

    He had long had his eyes on it. The king would have none of it, however. By what right did this duke demand such a jewel? Whether it came to his contribution to the empire generally, or during the campaign specifically, he had done far from enough to deserve Kribia. The province had always been under the imperial family's direct control during the empire's days. And it had only ever been handed over temporarily to the dukes during the civil war.

    Farkel had been supposed to return it once the war was over. The king told Shazing that he would pick one of the options he'd been given, or not get anything at all.

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    Kribia was out of the question. You didn't suffer much either. You also earned quite a bit from Forund's nobles. It's a shame we didn't discuss our conditions with him beforehand. I'll go see him and see what he has to say. Support Ryogawa and his work Tales of the Reincarnated Lord. Projects Black Iron's Glory. Tales of the Reincarnated Lord.