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Masked Knight - Chapter 66

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Chapter 66: Life and Death Look Alike

As soon as Rody was 10 li1 away from the Imperial Capital, he ordered the whole army wait for

further instructions. He then sent a messenger and asked for the presence of Deputy

Commander Sieg and Commander Gordon.

Before the expedition, Rody deliberately requested Emperor Abbas XI to order a high-ranking

Imperial Guard commander to follow him as he was still young and had no experience. He

hoped that His Majesty would send someone who was familiar with battle formations.

Naturally, it was something Nicole suggested.

Emperor Abbas XI was happy to approve and immediately ordered Commander Gordon to

follow the army to the Northwest. Commander Gordon also brought along 2,000 of the Imperial

Guards with him because Emperor Abbas XI could not depend entirely on the young duke.

Additionally, His Majesty had never heard of Deputy Commander Sieg so he wanted to send

someone whom he could trust.

’’Commander Sieg, I have an idea that I need to discuss!’’ Rody carefully declared his thoughts.

’’Your Excellency!’’ Sieg gave a faint smile and replied, ’’You are now the supreme commander. If

you have any orders, you just need to say it.’’

Rody gave Gordon a glance. Gordon merely smiled quietly and nodded.

Rody took a deep breath and expressed his thoughts, ’’I have decided to divide the Wolves Fang

Army into two. Commander Gordon will lead 10,000 Wolves Fang cavalrymen along with his

2,000 Imperial Guards and continue to march in as a group. However, the 10,000 cavalrymen

will have to give up their horses! Sieg and I will take the remaining 10,000 cavalrymen, with

each one having two horses! We will take provisions enough for four days and rush straight to

Watt Fortress! According to my calculations, if we do not take any break and just rotate our

horses, we will be able to reach the fortress in four days!’’

The moment Rody said that Gordon and Sieg felt shocked. Sieg cried out first, ’’How can this

work?’’ After that, he realized that he lost control of himself and lowered his voice. ’’Your

Excellency, our military strength is limited. I am afraid that if we split up... we will not be able

to cope!’’

Rody gave a long sigh and looked at Sieg. He then said, ’’Commander Sieg, do you think 20,000

soldiers are enough to reinforce the Northwest Legion? There are less than 100,000 soldiers left

from the defeated Northwest Legion. If we take into account those who were injured and those

who have lost their combat capabilities, I am afraid we only still have about 60,000 soldiers.

Can these 60,000 soldiers of a defeated army fight against 180,000 soldiers of the Great Moon

Kingdom? Even if we were to add in our 20,000 soldiers, will it be enough?’’

’’...’’

Sieg was silent for a while before he softly replied, ’’No, we won't be able to win. Unless we bring

50,000 soldiers with us, I will not dare to fight them.’’

’’That's right!’’ Rody sighed. ’’I thought of this the entire night before I understood our

situation...’’ At that time, Andy cried out in his mind, ’’Bullshit! If I did not teach you, could you

have thought of this?’’

Rody ignored Andy and continued, ’’We cannot defeat them anyway. That is why with this small

force, we can only play the role of increasing morale! As long as our Tulip Family's banner is up,

I believe that the morale of the Northwest Army will stabilize! The biggest problem with the

Northwest Legion now is not that they cannot win but rather they are too afraid to fight! They

still have about 100,000 soldiers! In the previous battle, the 200,000 soldiers were defeated by

the enemy's army of 80,000. Now, we have less than 100,000 soldiers left while the enemy has

gathered an army of 180,000. The Northwest Legion has lost its morale. We are here to give

them morale and not troops. As long as there are reinforcements, even if it is only 5,000

soldiers, the Northwest Legion will know that more reinforcements will come! They will know

that there is hope and become more spirited!’’

Rody looked at Sieg and Gordon. Noticing that they did not speak he spoke again, ’’Of course,

even if the morale of the Northwest Legion becomes stable, it is still unlikely that we would be

able to defeat or even repel the Great Moon Kingdom. Therefore, my plan is to hold out! As long

as the Northwest Legion is motivated, even if we cannot fight back against the enemy, we will

still be able to defend the fortress!’’

Sieg frowned and asked, ’’Defending is enough?’’

Rody looked at him and knew that an honest soldier like him would not understand political

affairs. Rody, himself, would not have understood politics if it were not for Nicole who

explained it to him.

’’Commander Sieg, let me tell you, His Majesty the Emperor does not really intend to fight the

Great Moon Kingdom! We cannot afford to fight them! With the Northwest Legion half

destroyed, we can only temporarily concede. The Southern Legion is too far away and will take

two to three months to reach here if they are mobilized! As for the Northern Legion, if they are

mobilized, we would be vulnerable to the attacks of the Roland Continent.’’

Those last few words were not very appropriate but Rody had no choice. Those were the only

words Andy taught him the night before. All he could do was repeat them.

Rody sighed and continued, ’’Fortunately, the Great Moon Kingdom also cannot afford to fight

us. Right now, they are just consolidating their victories. I don't like it but I have to admit they

have already won the war! Destroying the Northwest Legion is something that will be beneficial

to them but they do not need to. As long as they can guarantee victory, they will be in a

favorable position when they enter into negotiation with the Empire in the future.’’

Rody's speech gradually changed direction from a military problem to a political one. That was

something Sieg could not understand. Even Gordon, who was often in the Imperial Palace only

understood half of it.

’’That is why our mission is to defend! We cannot let the Empire be defeated anymore! We must

prevent this situation from deteriorating by immobilizing the army of the Great Moon Kingdom

at Watt Fortress! The Great Moon Kingdom are foreigners living on the grasslands. They cannot

afford to fight long and do not have the strength for prolonged battles! When the time comes,

they will have to retreat! This way, the Empire will not have to be so passive during

negotiations.’’

After Rody voiced his opinions, Gordon and Sieg had nothing left to say.

They followed Rody's orders and divided the Wolves Fang Army into two groups. Sieg ordered

all of those in one of the groups to dismount and give up their horses. The young soldiers were

reluctant to part with their horses but the Wolves Fang Army had strict rules so no one said

anything.

Rody sighed and ordered the other 10,000 soldiers to take their own rations of dry goods and

remove their heavy armor. They all then lined up and prepared to depart.

Just before departing, Rody pulled Gordon over and carefully told him, ’’Commander Gordon,

there are two things I need you to help me with! The first one is to lead the remaining 12,000

soldiers. They must move as fast as possible! When you pass by any garrison, I want you to

requisite their horses. I will give you the command token which His Majesty gave me! If the

garrison does not comply, show this to them. If they still do not comply, kill them! After

obtaining their horses, you are to speed up and catch up with us. I understand that this is

different from the plan I told you earlier but it is better to be safe than sorry. In case something

happens, I can count on your earlier reinforcement.’’

Gordon laughed as he took the command token. ’’Do not worry, Young Master Seth. I probably

won't even need to use this command token. If the Royal Guards want horses, the defenders

will have to give us horses. No one dares to say 'no'especially when they see us in the Royal

Guards'armor.’’

Rody smiled and said, ’’As for the second thing, you must remember carefully! In the supply

carriage, I kept a box with my family's insignia. It is very easy to find. If... and I really mean if!

If I meet with an accident... remember, and this must be ascertained by you, if I encounter any

mishaps and I am killed in battle, I want you to take that box and burn everything in it!’’

’’Huh?’’ Gordon was stunned. ’’What is inside that box?’’

Rody gave a strange smile and said, ’’Nothing special. Just a skeleton. Remember, this is a

military order!’’

After Rody had finished speaking, he turned his horse around and gave the army the order to

march.

The skeleton in his mind was in a rage.

’’Shit! Kid, you are too vicious!’’

Rody spoke lightly without changing his facial expression, ’’In that case, you better remember

Andy, if I survive, you will survive! If I die, you will die! So, you better stop playing tricks and

help me wholeheartedly! Haha...’’

He whipped his horse as he spoke. A mighty cavalry of 10,000 rode towards the Northwest with

the sun on their backs.

1 li, 里, also known as the Chinese mile, is a traditional Chinese unit of distance. The li has varied

considerably over time but was usually about a third as long as the English mile and now has a

standardized length of a half-kilometer (500 meters or 1,640 feet).



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