9 Plans for the future
A month passed already, and the Viscount had reached the barbarian mountain range. The Viscount was not tired despite this one-month march. His legion, however, was indeed feeling the fatigue of moving around with heavy armours and goods in the depths of a harsh mountain.
Eventually, the Viscount's scouts reported a golden piece of information.
The Barbarian King was Alkar, a 20-years-old kid with divine strength according to the rumours. He had rallied the Fire Tribe, the mountain giants as well as the cavern men. He was born from the cavern men queen and the fire tribe chieftain, inheriting the former's innate strength, and the latter's fire blessing. It seemed that he was able to invoke a flaming sword, something that earned him the title of 'Ancestor', a rare title.
If Alkar wanted to, he could summon over 20 000 warriors in a flash. All of them would not be lacking against a trained soldier of the Viscount. Some would even manage to rival the Dark Legion elites.
As for Alkar himself, though the Viscount was quite afraid of this so-called flaming sword, he still thought highly of himself.
The purpose in coming to the mountains was not to wage war, but rather to wage peace. He had come with a good sacrifice: holy water, capable of healing wounds and most of diseases. If the barbarians refused his goodwill, Allan planned on requesting help to the King, who had the backing of the Magical Court.
However, in the past, the Magical Court had already sent a few acolytes to deal with the barbarians, acolytes who ended up dead.
"Let's teach them a lesson", the Viscount said to his loyal knights, who nodded while grinning.
A tough battle was incoming.In the high gardens of the Moonford Castle, Drake was meditating. As the Castle Master, he was treated with respect no matter where he went. The maids would answer every one of his calls, the butlers would give their lives to take an arrow in stead of him, and the soldiers would kneel and serve him like they would do with kings.
In his own castle, a lord is a king.
Drake was no lord, and not a king either. But he had the authority.
Ever since his victory of Jonas, Drake felt more confident. It must be said that breaking through the knight realm truly had opened his eyes. He had underestimated the boost of strength that it provided, and he wasn't thinking of attributes solely, but in general.
His reflexes were enhanced, his thinking process was faster, he could feel the improvement in his sword art on a daily basis! If before, people found him talented, then he was a monster ever since his breakthrough.
[Beep! Moonlight Grand Knight level Breathing Technique Revolution successfully completed! Expected gains: +0.003 Strength, +0.04 Constitution, +0.003 Dexterity, +0.02 Internal Energy]
[Beep! Consumption of Goldrich Flower detected! Nutriments are interacting with internal energy…Deemed as beneficial to the host. Beginning merging…22%...88%. The breathing revolution is expected to be 82% more effective on host's body.]
'Good! Although the breathing technique itself is becoming less effective, if I continue to consume Goldrich Flower as a complement, my growth rate will not be affected.'
"I have good news, my lord", Lewis said as soon as Drake finished his meditation session.
"Have you finished dealing with the purchase of Goldrich Flower stocks in the town?"
"Yes, sir! I still don't understand why you are so interested in this beautiful yet venomous plant, but I managed to purchase 72 seeds, and over 40 flowers. The other seeds were of bad quality, so I sent merchants in towns of other territories to see if they could get their hands on some more. The High Gardener Alfred successfully planted them. In a year or two, the seeds will be ready for harvest."
"Good job, Lewis!"
Drake was truly amazed. In just a few days, Lewis had managed to break down Jonas and the mercenaries, earning precise information on the 'enemy'. Although Jonas himself didn't see the power within the shadows controlling him and influencing him, Drake managed to link the rebellion with a merchant company called Kad Industries. It was backed by the Viscount Frey, as expected, so Drake led the 200 City Guards to find the culprits. He then executed them and confiscated their belongings, earning himself over 2 000 gold coins and twice this amount worth in weapons, armours and horses.
All the weapons were made of Black Iron, and the amount seemed to translate a will to go to war. However, they had landed in Drake's hands. Over a hundred Medium Armour set, spears, swords and crossbows, as well as shield of the highest quality were in Drake's hands. It was enough to create a big force, not to mention that there were over a hundred barbarian horses in their possession, a breed that could travel over a hundred miles without resting once.
"Lewis, I have decided."
"I will create my own force", Lewis said, "They will be called the Moon Riders. It will be a heavy cavalry."
"You will need loyal men. I am afraid that none of your father's subordinates can swear allegiance to you, however, since they already swore that to your father."
"I know. I am planning on purchasing slaves. High-grade slaves conditioned to fight since they were born. I am referring to the Immaculate."
The immaculate army was legendary. The desert riders, famous warriors who plunder for a living, had sieged a city in the past for over a month. The city lord, unwilling to surrender to the people who raped his wife and killed his children, decided to send his most trustworthy men to the immaculate land, and purchase an army of strong, high-grade, slaves, using every single gold coin he could find in his treasury, going to the extent of selling his family's heirloom, a sword made of Sun Gold.
His men succeeded, and returned with an army of 5 000 immaculate men. Trained at the age of 5, only one out of ten survive till adulthood. At 18, they have to go through a trial. They have to face captured bandits in an arena. One versus three. If they win in less than a minute, they are made captain. If they win in less than three minutes, they become soldiers. If they fail to do so, their treatment becomes worse, and they train for an additional year, with harsher training, until they become able to win in less than three minutes.
The 5000 immaculate men defended the city's wall for 18 days. Each immaculate that fell, at least ten desert riders would die. The immaculate commander, the Viper, was especially famous at this time, for having been captured by the enemy, and escaping the hands of a desert rider camps, killing the enemy leader as well as over a hundred desert riders in his path. Unfortunately, his wounds got infected and he died before his heroic acts spread.
This event took place a century ago. Drake certainly didn't have the funds to purchase 5000 immaculate of the highest quality. But with 2000 gold coins, he could at least buy 100 immaculate who hadn't finished their formation. That way, he would teach them horsemanship himself.
The only thing that Drake lacked was a knight-level spearmanship. It was something you could only find such a thing in the Kingdom's army, or in a noble family. Either case, you couldn't spread it for your own use, or you would be hunted by the original possessors.
Drake thought for a while, and remembered that the Viscount Frey indeed possessed such a spearmanship. It was said to be incomplete, hence the reason why the Viscount himself used a sword, but Drake was still interested. With his knowledge, he already possessed the ability to complete the Kadac swordsmanship into a complete sword art. It would take years, but it was doable.