Chapter 224 Launching the Rescue plan
After learning that His Highness’ side had a method to cure the demonic plague, Theo’s irritable mood finally calmed down.
Once there was something he could busy himself with, the following days seemed to go by a lot faster.
In addition to his visits to the wine estates at the outskirts of King’s City, he also planned the route for the convoy, while keeping the topography of the area around the canal’s pier and the city gate in mind.
Nowadays, wanting to enter the city had become quite a hassle, using the refugees outside of King’s City as the reason, all the major city gates had been sealed. In this way prohibiting any outsider from entering the city, especially after the Church had begun to distribute the Holy Elixir. After the refugees became aware of this, they began to desperately attack the city gates every day. Hoping to be allowed to go to the church for treatment. However, the guards stationed at the wall responded without hesitation and flocked them with crossbow bolts. The result was, that by now many corpses were lying in front of the city gates and rotting under the scorching sun, spreading an unpleasant odor.
The only open gate was a side gate limited to the use of the nobility and the merchants who brought the food. Fortunately, Theo had worked in the patrol for some time and because of that he was known by most of the guards as a native of King’s City, allowing him to go through the gate with just a simple greeting.
It was precisely because of this quarantine, that both the inner and outer city lost almost all contact, so even when they had transported the refugees away with great fanfare, the news of it had difficulties spread into the inner city. Not to mention that the upper nobility were anxiously waiting for someone to ship all the refugees from the Eastern Region away. And save them from later having to suppress a rebellion.
Theo roughly understood why His Highness had set out on the same day he had received the letter. All these people outside of the city felt as if they had been abandoned by their King. So, in case the Church sent out some priest to heal them, they would become their most faithful of believers.
But if His Highness could arrive before the Church could grab them, these people would instead be pulled to his side. There was no doubt that after healing them and offering them a new place to stay, they would become His Highness most fanatical of supporters.
On the morning of the fourth day, the returning first fleet arrived at the canal’s pier on time. Theo was surprised to discover that His Highness had sent as many as 300 soldiers of the First Army. Who were furthermore all dressed in their standard uniform and armed with revolver rifles. With this powerful contingent as a safeguard, even if the Church came to know about them, he estimated that they would still be unable to prevent the refugees from leaving.
“Lightning!” Margaret who also waited at the pier immediately shouted when she saw the little girl’s figure, unable to containing herself from going forward and hugging her.
“This is…?” Iron Axe asked.
“The owner of the Grand Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Margaret,” Theo explained, “All the ships we need for the transportation will be provided by her or a partner of her’s, without her we would never be able to implement His Highness plan.”
“So, it was like this,” After understanding the situation Iron Axe nodded to her. “Thank you for your help.”
“I’ll deduct all my expense from His Highness fee,” Margaret merely shrugged. “But when you’re thanking me, you should also thank Lightning.”
Lightning crooked head and asked confused, “Why me?”
“Keke, it’s nothing.” Theo coughed twice. “What are you going to do next?”
“Next we will set up a camp in the south of the dock to control the area, and then in the afternoon we will start the rescue mission.” Iron Axe said, “If the ships could be here by then, that would be for the best.”
When Brian led his men into the refugee area, he could not help but frown.
Everywhere he looked he saw dying people. Their skin had split open at many places, with black blood continuously flowing out of them and attracting swarms of flies. However, those ill people didn’t even have the strength left to drive the insects off, simply letting these flying insects crawl all over their body and drink of their blood.
Seeing all this, he couldn’t help but think of the Months of Demons, when the people of Border Town were trapped in the slums of Longsong Stronghold. Having to face death by hunger and coldness, but being utterly helpless against it. If all this was really done by the Church, it was a simply unforgivable crime.
“Let’s call the first group,” Brian said. “We depend on you, Miss Echo.”
If they rashly went within the crowd and announced that they were in possession of medicine to cure the ill, it would most likely cause a ruckus. And when a large group of refugees went into the direction of the docks all at once, their small group of dozens of people would simply not be enough to suppress them. Because of this, they had to make sure that the information was always only spread to a select small groups at the same time. Considering this problem, His Highness had decided to specially sent Miss Echo along. With her ability, Echo was able to control the area within which her voice would be heard, or she could also just put her voice next to a person’s ear.
Even though Brian saw how she opened her mouth to speak, he was unable to hear any sound, while the fugitives turned around and looked over.
Soon, a group of them came over, more stumbling than running, “Your honor, is what you said really true? As long as you can cure the disease, I am willing to follow you to the Western Region!”
“Of course it’s true. Our ships have stopped at the pier, so gather your family and come with me!”
Other soldiers also stepped forward to help the patients who laid on the ground and were unable to move. Their small group instantly expanded to several hundred people, who walked together in the direction of the pier. Many people who noticed this scene, also began to follow, doing their best to catch up with them.
Back to the pier, soldiers of the First Army had already filled with bags with purified water and placed them on a long table. At the gangway to board the ship stood Iron Axe with a squadron, only letting only two people through at the same time, and ensuring that all the people who wanted to embark had first drunken the curing water.
“Everybody listens, these water bags are filled with medicine that treats the illness, so as long as you drink from it, you will immediately recover.” Next, to the long table, they had set up a stage on which stood the one with the highest standing amongst the soldiers, constantly preaching His Highness’ manuscript, “What the church has called the ‘Demonic Plague caused by witches and could only be dispelled by their Holy Elixir’ is a groundless statement, nothing more. They just want to earn more money and also make you kneel to them, thanking them for their graciousness in saving your life. Instead Lord Roland not only brought the medicine, he also doesn’t charge you any fees for it! Yes, you don’t even have to pay a copper royal for it!”
These words immediately heated up the crowd, but when the first person drunk the purified water, he quickly felt how his body changed. Unable to believe it, he tore open his clothes only to see how the dark spots quickly faded away, “This medicine is indeed effective! I’m healed, I’m healed!”
“Me too, God above, the wounds no longer bleed!”
“God you say, where is it? I only see a group of liars!”
“That’s right! This medicine has nothing to do with the Church!”
“Long live His Highness, Roland!”
As more and more people were healed, the witnessing crowd also became more and more excited. If the First Army to hadn’t been there to control the order, the water bags placed on the table would have immediately been washed away by the flood of fugitives.
“At the moment, His Highness is busy with developing the Western Region, for this, he requires a lot of manpower to cultivate fields, build houses, build roads… he does not charge you anything for the medicine, and he also doesn’t force you to go with us to the West.” The soldier responsible for the propaganda continued to shout as loud as possible, “But His Royal Highness promises, that as long as you are willing to follow us to the Western Region and work for him, you will get food, shelter and payment! No matter what your specialty is, you will get a matching job! If you are willing to take the first step into a new life, just step forward and follow the mercenaries on board, they will take you to your new home! If you are unwilling that is also okay, we will still be here and provide help for the next three days; after that we will leave. During these three days, food will be given out free of charge by the caravan!”
“Is there really a new home and work with salary waiting for us?” Someone asked loudly.
“Of course, that is the condition offered by His Highness!” The soldier nodded in response.
“Please let me on board; I am willing to serve His Royal Highness!”
“I’m a blacksmith!”
Brian was very pleased to see that within this group of hundreds of people, no one chose to stay in King’s City and instead they all decided to board the ship to the West. The moment a vessel was full, it would immediately depart and then be replaced by an empty ship. Under Margaret’s command, there wasn’t even the slightest pause between.
Afterward, Brian continued to lead refugees from the camps to the dock, always relying on Echo sound transmission technique to draw in a new batch of Eastern Region refugees. The number of refugees under her control would be between 300 to 400 every time. As he returned with a new team of patients to the pier, he suddenly saw how the First Army stationed in the wheat fields in the south began to move. A team of them rushed out at flying speed into the direction of the northern bank of the canal, while carrying their guns in their hand.
“What happened?” Brian asked into the direction of Iron Axe’s men.
“Scout Miss Lightning said that someone had secretly jumped off the ship and run away,” one of them offered while saluting. “Maybe there’s a rat which had hidden itself between the refugees?”