The Imperial army’s invasion of Glock came to an end with their retreat after their commander was killed in action.
The Imperial army suffered slightly more than 200 casualties, while the Glock side suffered only eleven.
If only considering the results, then it would be an overwhelming victory by Ardis and the others.
Not letting the Imperial army that has more than three thousand soldiers make use of their numbers; the deciding factor was having the commander defeated from a surprise attack in the forest.
The Imperial army retreated to Gran after losing to an army one magnitude smaller than theirs.
It wasn’t just Moore taking down the enemy commander, but Minerva had also managed to defeat a platoon leader on her own, while Fillia and Riana delayed the whole army, finishing off more than fifty people with their lightning strikes. It was a performance too brilliant to be considered their first battle, and although Ardis was reluctant, if it was Minerva and the twins’ own decisions, then there was nothing he could say.
Despite feeling complicated emotion, he was glad all of them were safe, and he lightly hit the top of their head as his own way of complimenting them.
The Empire continued to send soldiers intermittently after that, but with the help of the brilliant mages, the twins, and the graduates of Mariules Academy, Kyrill and Ellenoa, Glock was successfully protected from the invasions three times.
The reason why Glock had not suffered a defeat against the Imperial army, wasn’t just cause of Ardis’s strength.
「They’re not coordinated at all. 」
Heading to Gran that was now the Empire’s territory with Sharu and Rona, they reported to Ardis with the information they had collected.
「Individual decisions? 」
「That’s what the information broker, Chezare, said. 」
Ardis answered Moore’s question.
The topic of the conversation held in the post within Glock was about the Empire’s movements.
Thanks to the rumors circulating around the town and the information bought from Chezare, there were a few things that they found out.
The first invasion attempt led by three thousand Imperial soldiers was of the regular soldiers, but the three attempts after that were individual decisions made by the Empire’s nobles.
Did they feel ambitious, or perhaps blinded by greed, as they sortied their own soldiers without waiting for an official order.
「So that’s why they have such few soldiers. 」
Moore was confused at the three appearances of an invasion army that didn’t reach the thousands, but after hearing Ardis’s explanation, his expression turned into one of understanding.
「I thought it was strange. After their three-thousand-man army was defeated, they were reattempting with not even one third of that. Moreover, their second and third times were as if they’ve forgotten about their defeat. 」
「Isn’t it because the nobles there are full of thoughts of being superior than other nobles? Thinking that we’re just a mere mining village that have barely any hair, not investigating our forces, and writing the past defeats as nothing because of that. 」
Recalling their past display of not showing any signs of doing their homework, Ardis laughed with his nose.
「But that’s convenient for us……. Well then, will the situation persist like this? 」
「Nope, looks like they’re pouring resources into the Coalition instead of us. There are plans for them to send reinforcements over to the San Rojeul Monarchy. 」
Hearing Ardis’s report, Moore showed a surprised expression.
「We’re put on the bench? 」
「Since they don’t have to worry about Thoria taking this territory for now. 」
The Thoria army that came before the Empire was annihilated by Ardis and the others.
For the time being, any large-scale army movement probably won’t be possible.
Among the four countries that makes up the Rovres Alliance, only the Empire and Thoria had shown any interest on making Glock their territory.
Now that Thoria can’t move, for the Empire, there was no need for them to hurry like previously either.
They probably thought they could just finish conquering the Coalition before directing all their forces here and easily crushing their enemy.
「Also, besides that, there are signs that Glock is slowly turning into an anti-Empire base. 」
「…………Gathering all the rebels in one spot here and crushing them all at once, I suppose. 」
As Ardis and the others continued to win against Thoria and the Empire, more and more people that wished to go against the Rovres Alliance were gathering.
Although it meant that their forces were expanding, at the same time, the animosity from the Rovres Alliance was also getting stronger.
If there was no hurry for immediate suppression, then this could serve well as a baiting beacon. The upper echelons in the Empire might’ve thought something like that.
「And that’s where I have my own idea. 」
「What is it? 」
Even though there was no one else around, Ardis whispered into Moore’s ears.
From just two or three words from Ardis, Moore’s expression widened clearly, and a shocking-like noise came out of his mouth.
「Don’t you think this is a great chance? 」
Moore looked at Ardis, who was grinning and asking such a question, as if he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
Prospering since the age of Corsas dynasty, after its collapse, it was a port town that had been annexed under the Nagras Kingdom.
Taking advantage of the Elmenia Empire’s invasion into Nagras Kingdom, they became independent and became the capital of Thoria Kingdom, continuing to be a major town that serves as the checkpoint town of the north-south highway in the eastern part of the continent, and above all, its role as a trading center is ever more prominent.
The First King Fredrick that ruled this land.
His heavy and dull body with excess fat sat on a luxurious looking chair in his office, as he made a displeased expression listening to the report from his vassal.
「You’re saying that we don’t have enough soldiers? 」
「Yessir. Even after the new conscription and reorganization, we’ve only managed to amass six hundred soldiers. It will take some time before we recover to the point we were at before. Currently, half of our forces are inexperienced soldiers that are still undergoing training. A sortie again would be……」
「Then just go gather some mercenaries! 」
「About that…… gathering them are also difficult, especially after the last battle. It’s difficult to get the cooperation from the mercenaries……」
「What……! Mere mercenaries dare to go against my orders!? 」
There’s no reason for the mercenaries to bother with Thoria Kingdom.
Naturally, there were no orders to be obeyed because there was no contract binding the Thoria Kingdom and the mercenaries together, but that didn’t matter to Fredrick, who had blood in his head.
Being a King, with his ego fueled by being at the pinnacle of power, there must not be anyone who does not comply with his wishes.
「Your Majesty, there’s no need to blame him that much. 」
The elderly man who stood beside interjected, but Fredrick instead screamed hysterically.
「What are you saying, Costas! Isn’t the importance of a Heavy Iron vein not obvious enough! The north is taken by Alban, and the south is the Empire’s territory. Our country’s expansion has already reached the limit. At the very least, we must get that territory and its Heavy Iron, or else the Empire and Alban will just get a wider lead! 」
「Your Majesty is correct. However, considering our casualties in the previous battle, it can’t be helped that we will need time before we can reorganize enough force. Luckily, the Empire has focused their efforts into helping the Monarchy in the west instead. There’s no need to worry that the Empire will make a move on that territory for the time being. 」
Hearing what Costas said, Fredrick regained some calm but his impatience wasn’t hidden in his question.
「But that doesn’t last long either. How long will it take for them to finish cleaning up the west? 」
「Soonest in six months, and latest in two years, I suppose. 」
「Two years……will our forces recover in time by then? 」
「There is no need to worry. A battle doesn’t merely mean a direct confrontation between soldiers with weapons or magic. 」
Seeing Costas who was still calm, Fredrick asked again.
「……You got an idea? 」
「The opponents are merely a gathering of mob with no order. They have no experience in plotting, and so, tripping them from the inside would be appropriate. 」
「I have already prepared men to disguise as mercenaries. Your Majesty can await the good news. 」
「Fumu, that’s great――」
As Fredrick was about to continue speaking after nodding satisfactorily at Costas’s response, a message arrived in the office.
「Your Majesty, it’s an emergency! 」
「What? So noisy! 」
A breathless messenger soldier knelt immediately after entering the office with his face on the ground.
「Our country was just declared war to! The enemies are currently invading us from the highway near the castle! The Druise company is currently locked in a battle with them! 」
Was it Fredrick that made a stupefied noise, or was it Costas?
It was almost the exact same time that both regained themselves from their stunned figures.
「War declaration!? 」
「To our country!? 」
Following the sudden revelation, Costas’s questioned the messenger soldier.
「Where are they attacking from!? 」
Currently, the Thoria Kingdom territory is surrounded by members of the Rovres Alliance.
There is no country nearby that can declare war on them, including the Alban Kingdom in the north and the Elmenia Empire in the south.
The unfortunate thought of the Empire betraying Fredrick flashed through his mind, but the messenger soldier quickly answered Costas’s question.
「Yessir! The enemy has named themselves as 『Wisteria』! 」
Fredrick and Costas both bore confused expressions at the name of a country that they weren’t familiar with.