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After analyzing Marfa's intelligence carefully, I concluded: my Legion No. 9 was still too fragile to feed the thousands AUF troops ahead of me. Their soldiers’ individual combat ability exceeded far beyond mine, let alone they had us outnumbered.
I put myself together and made a SWOT list. Though I cannot compare to my enemies, I had ways to improve my soldiers.
My order sealed Gallia City. All foreign goods and personnel were not allowed to go in or out, except for transport fleets from Dark City. Empire citizens and business people who were too late to depart were directed to work for the army. In this way, the information flow was utterly limited.
Next, I asked my officers to report in the youngest and the most promising soldiers from my troops. Though the officers had no ideas of what I intended to achieve, they firmly carried out my order, more than 10, 000 soldiers were added to my list.
I formed these youngsters into four regiments and dispatched them to inland Swabia on the ground of supervising army supplies. After the four regiments toured in Dark City and finally came back, they were entirely altered: they have replaced the rookies by Dark City's finest and brought along 5, 000 war horses.
Now, combined with the horses I already had in the Legion, I was able to form four cavalry troops at full strength!
On the day they arrived, the whole camp was in an uproar. Many soldiers who have experienced multiple wars dropped exciting tears as they saw fleets of riders passing in front of them.
"Riders! They're riders!" They sobbed and told other soldiers aside, "I know boss wouldn't abandon us. He will stay with us! He brought riders!"
Rookies who have never been on the battlefield asked, "It's just horses, what's so different from us?"
"Go fuck yourself, you hairless bastard! Have you seen riders march? Do you know how much money you need to maintain them?" The veterans taught the rookies with their traditional methods, "Only regular armies are qualified to have riders! Boss is treating us like regular soldiers instead of slaves, or he won't bring riders!"
Unexpectedly, I did not include the cavalries in the first division, I gave them all to the second division.
Wilder was so thrilled by this news that he hugged and kissed me.
"Wilder, I have to warn you." I said seriously, "This is the only riders we have. I’m counting on them to grow big. If you become careless and lose them, you'll have to pay for that!"
"Roger, boss!" Wilder bumped his chest, "I will use them carefully!"
"The officers and soldiers in the cavalries are mostly from Dark City, so commanding is not an issue." I urged, "Either you don't use them, or put them in the most crucial place!"
"Sir, yes, sir!"
The three cavalry regiments were deployed immediately into training sessions. They have brought not only high morale for the Legion but also pressure for the logistics corps.
I had to throw this hot potato to Dark City. Luckily, its construction was near complete. As the guys in the City Hall heard their Viceroy was in trouble, they at once sent 5, 000 able-bodied men, which resulted in the logistics leader becoming the logistics director who was now in charge of 7, 000~8, 000 people.
Slowly, I initiated a major transfusion onto my army. No matter what, I won't give a single soldier back to the United Forces after the War.
Due to the lockdown in Gallia City, nobody knew the dwarf Grandmaster was here already.
The Grandmaster as well as his following craftsman made them busy in my commanding center then left with a bunch of blueprints. I had contributed to the designs as well.
For the fact that I was well prepared before I left for the military headquarter as well as the line production method was well implemented, the dwarf craftsmen could make 500 suits of army delivered to me per day.
Not long after, the first field regiment has completed changing gear. Each of them now wore a full set of armors made by dwarf artisans. A suit of armor made by dwarf was such a precious thing that many officers in the United Forces were proud to have one, let alone slave soldiers.
As for the retired gears, they were out of my concern. At a time right before the War, armors and weapons were very demanded. My dearest Dior Merlin will be glad to have a shipment of ready goods.
Soldiers in the field regiment were divided into three units.
Moderate-figured soldiers have become pikemen. Pikemen were granted enhanced armor besides new weapons. I needed them to defend the frontline only during a battle.
Strongly-shaped soldiers were given machetes which were able to be hilted with long stems when necessary. When dealing with an average fight, these soldiers could take the machete on one hand and shield on another. If situation called, they will have a long metal extra hilt on their back. It will take only one step to take it off and install it on the blade handle. Such soldiers of great adaptability can be both offensive and defensive. They were the core force in my army.
As for the weaker-grown soldiers, they became archers. The archers were equipped with new bows and light waist blades. Their half metal and half wood twisted bows were as tall as an adult in size, and they can shoot very far and accurately.
The Grandmaster guaranteed that with such bows and fine arrows of high lethality, one will be entirely capable of penetrating metal armors as thick as a thumb within 500 meters.
If it weren't for Dior Merlin's support, the Ninth Legion would never have such superior gears. Others aspects aside, let me talk about only the refined iron arrowhead on the ri-bodkin-arrows. For no matter the Protoss United Forces or the Asmodian United Forces, which of them could afford to use 15 cm trigonate arrowheads? They should be thankful to be deployed with 5 cm flat ones.
In addition to the gear difference, I had an entirely different military thinking. To override my enemies with long-ranged fire, then do as much as possible to impair its hostility was one of the most basic tactical ideas when I was doing my military service during my past life. And training was the most basic of all for sure.
To better train my troops, I had called out almost all drillmasters, elf marksmen, elf warlocks, and exceptional dwarf warriors from Dark City.
I tried my best to immerse my soldiers with actual combat atmosphere: marching, night attack, face to face showdown. I essentially gave them all war environments I could think of to require them to train with their hearts and souls.
It turned out great because everybody wanted to live.
By the summer harvest, I had a guest from the Aqua Clan.
As a delicately pretty and graceful beauty stood at the gate of the Gallia Viceroy's mansion, my ears were as if filled with her beautiful singing again.
"Boss, look!" Marfa cried, "It's Forenar!"
"Shut up, mind your business." I glanced Marfa and walked toward Forenar.
"Why are you here?" I talked, "This is the battle front. I'm not in a good position to have you here."
"Don't worry, I'll leave once I have my words." A breeze went over, Forenar used her hands to gather up her alluring hair, "I was sent here by my Chief and Patriarch, they have a message for you, Your Excellency."
Hearing she addressed me as 'Your Excellency', I couldn't but felt a bit pity.
"The Chief said:" Forenar looked at me and talked, "'Devil, I have finished your job in advance. You now have twenty ships. Each of them is able to carry 500 people!’"
"Really?" I was too thrilled that I grabbed Forenar's tiny hands, "He said that?"
This was the best news throughout the past six months. Due to the twenty large transport ships as well as two rapid convoys for each ship, the entire fleet could carry 10, 000 soldiers!
Forenar instantly retrieved her hands, and her pinky face blushed.
"I was overjoyed a bit." I made an uneasy laugh, "What did the Patriarch say?"
"He said:" Forenar lowered her face and refused to look at my anymore, "'Our Aqua Clan is grateful for your help. But please don't forget your promise."
"I won't." I said, "Please tell him that I will fulfill my promise."
"Okay." Forenar showed her courtsey, "I shall leave now."
I nodded and sent a team of riders to escort her back.
"Boss!" Marfa, who has been hiding aside bounced to me, "Forenar is getting prettier!"
"Get lost!" I caught his ear, "Are you out of business, huh? Now you have time to play jokes on me?"
"No! No!" Marfa cried, "We have progress! Progress!"
"Start talking!" I loosened him, "How much progress?"
"Hehhe! The money rewarded." Marfa said in a lowered tone, "Amart sent a message, he said our friends from the other side have gotten the presents ready. Two sample for each category! They'll be arriving in no time!"
"Hahahahaha…" I laughed to the sky, "What day is it! All are fucking good news! Let's get prepared!"
Though I have increased my investment in the intelligence system, however, Marfa could still not rapidly penetrate inland Asmodian Alliance in such a short time. Fortunately, there are still a few kinds of people who can be bought over.
Marfa had paid handsomely to recruit massive amount of mercenaries through his informants in the Asmodian Alliance. Executed by smuggling, they have found out the AUF's military marching and station plans as well as their supply reserve transport routes. In the past days, my information about the AUF came solely from the friendly military headquarter, as of now, I dared say, the HQ's information was far less thorough than mine.
In the mean time, I authorized Amart who has already had a foothold in the Asmodian Alliance to carry out an uncool business by hiring mercenaries with big money: he wanted the mercenary hunters to hunt down AUF soldiers, at least one soldier from each army and no zero preys from the special forces! Because at such a moment, there will be deserters from almost each force. It was not a bit deal for my enemies to lose a few soldiers.
But it was a big deal for me.
After these 'presents' had arrived in wooden crates, I summoned the LAD and the liaison bureau overnight with the intent to interrogate them with torment.
Faced with beauty, wealth, torture racks, pepper sprays and everything I can think of, we've finally trapped them into telling the information we needed.
"Boss, what should we do with these guys?" Jack flipped through the big pile of intelligence papers in his hand, "We lock them?"
I gazed at these prisoners in silence and forced me to make a cruel decision.
"Get me all men who’re best at martial skills and all the mages," Finally, I broke the silence, "as well as all the shaman physicians in the neighborhood."
Still, I will do anything to make my soldiers alive.
Days after, each regiment has received dozens of variously-shaped wooden sculptures. These carvings were lively with the essential skin, mussels, bone structures…"
The sculptures came with detailed instructions. On it wrote features of each statue as well as its fatal organ locations. The commander center made it clear that every soldier had to learn it.
Thus Legion No. 9 had everything prepared ahead of time and waiting for the PUF headquarter's order.
Then the fall came.
Standing before the enormous Swabian field, I watched the near ripe autumn crops. Sweet breeze brought the sense of early fall and embraced the Gallia City. The sun was setting. All were too cozy.
"Why we need to fight wars? Why we have to make people bleed and die in a foreign land?" Winslet asked me in a recent letter from home.
She had the question I have intended to ask my whole life.
As a husband, I cannot answer my wife, despite I loved her as much as I loved my life.
As a commander, I cannot answer my soldiers. Thus I could only do my best to prevent them from being killed.
This was the insatiable. Honor, duty, fuck them!
The letter remained in my hand until late night on the city wall. I stood there with the paper as well as the lives of thousands of soldiers.
What can I, an ordinary person do on this land of endless war, in this shattered time?
I gazed upon the soldiers patrolling on the wall and the troops doing night training down the field. I watched these lives and couldn't but felt sorrow. I welled my eyes.
The moon was as watery and illusionary as dreams.
I shook hard my head and exhaled heavily for several times then got off the wall.
A few day later, the order from the military headquarters has finally arrived.
I took over the wax sealed scroll from the orderly came from the HQ, opened then read it. After I handed it over to Carlos.
"I'm aware of the order." I said coldly to the orderly, "I will do my best to carry it out."
"Yes, Your Excellency." The orderly took over my receipt, "His Royal Highness had a message for you."
"I'm all ears."
"The Prince said: Do what you can as long as you can fulfill the order. And please pay attention to your own safety, ser."
"Send my gratitude to His Royal Highness for me." I nodded and said, "I won't forget his help."
After seeing the orderly off, I immediately gathered a meeting with all the senior officers.
"This is the order from HQ." I dropped the scroll on the table and talked, "To my thought, Legion No. 9 will have to operate before the War begins. We have to be the first to move and contain the Asmodian forces in the front."
"Are they asking too much, the HQ?" Wilder complained, "We have only less than 80, 000 and they want us to contain 100, 000 enemies. What's wrong with them?"
"The intelligence they provide is ridiculous enough." Marfa said, "In their news, we're faced with only 60, 000 enemies, they didn't even mention the special forces!"
"Don't say nonsense." I said, "What can you do?"
"We can always attack." Wilder said, "Send out part of our forces and do a tryout. Retreat them if they fail."
"Or we can defend!" Moya said, "Defending is a way to contain our enemies!"
"Easier said than done! Think about it," I interrupted the two, "once the War starts, there will be Protoss military supervisors in the headquarters. Do you think you can trick them?"
"What's your idea, boss?" Moya asked.
"A was still needs to be played both defensively and offensively. One more thing, we cannot fight on our own territory, because if we smash it, we're to fix it ourselves." I said, "Let us run further. Let us make some noise on the other side of the Line."
"Boss, I think you're right." Wilder said, "But we're faced with too many enemies. If you insist on initiate a fight, we might end up with massive damage."
"That won't be a problem. Carlos and I have a plan drawn out." I said, "Gallia City is our logistics base. I will put a few regiments to guard it. The rest, with me."
"We're we mobilizing?" Wilder asked, "Are we really attacking?"
"Attacking is a must. We've done so many things to make the PUF unhappy and they didn't come for us. If we still don't do something for them, they will be upset." I said, "Anyway, as long as we can contain the enemies. As for how we do it, nobody cares!"
"Boss, you must have a good solution!" Wilder's eyes brightened, "Tell me!"
"Wilder," I said with a hint of a smile, "have you been on a ship, a big-ass ship?"
Wilder shook his head. He did not know why I asked.
"You wanna tour around a ship?"
"Good. Now, take three field and logistics regiments with you." I said with a smile, "Let's go out to play!"
"When do we have ships?"
"You don't know yet. We have our fleet now." I said, "And it's waiting for us by the sea!"
"Carlos will tell you where to board and land. You need to get contact with your local informants in the shortest time possible." I said, "Your job is to lay a solid foundation for the following forces. I want the AUF in a general turmoil!"