Chapter 278 Combat Plan
The conflict soon ended.
When they saw the knights threateningly closing in on them, none of them dared to speak up. It was fair to say that the majority of actors were people who moved whichever way the wind blew, otherwise there wouldn’t have been a dispute to begin with. It wasn’t like everyone had the courage to stand up and confront her, the all too famous May. And now that the situation had completely turned around, Bella was escorted away by the two men as they immediately left the lounge.
Soon after, Carter and Border Town’s theater group were the only ones in the huge room.
“Thank you for your help,” Gate and the others said as they bowed.
“You were really… too fierce! Two or three of your sentences were already enough to turn her completely speechless.” Irene said, grasping May’s hands, “Furthermore, that slap, she looked so perplexed, she couldn’t do anything but cover it with her hand in her disbelief.”
She then turned towards the Chief Knight and saluted, “Sir Carter, for what reason are you in Longsong Stronghold?”
“About this point, I’m also very curious,” May said while shrugging with her shoulders, but within her heart, she felt relief.
“Because of His Highness’ orders,” Carter answered and then asked in return, “Can I invite you to a drink?”
“This is… the place where you live?” The Chief Knight appeared somewhat reserved while he surveyed the room.
“Yes, very ordinary, right?” May took a bottle of white wine from the cupboard and poured him a small cup. “The taverns only open at night, so just regard this cup as my invitation to you.” Irene and the rest of the group had quickly slipped away, one by one they suddenly remembered something they had still needed to do. Which left only her and Carter in the group by the time they’d reached the residence.
“Yes, indeed… quite ordinary,” Carter coughed twice, “I’m unaware about your family…”
“My mother passed away when I was still young, I got my father a job in the theater, where he had to do all kinds of easy chores,” May stated serenely, “But I think he will come back in the evening.”
The location of the small cottage was within a dark alley of Longsong Stronghold’s inner city, but she had actually spent all her savings after becoming the Star of the West to purchase it. Even though the house was small and old, but by moving away from the outer city, she at least could get away from harassment and the disturbing peeping Toms.
“It’s nothing,” May answered, and gave herself a small cup, “Did His Royal Highness let you come in order to rectify the theater’s social order and solve the disputes between the actors?”
“No, of course not,” Carter repeatedly waved his hands and said, “Timothy has sent some people to the Western Territory to cause some trouble again, because of this, His Highness Roland along with the majority of the Army are currently on the road. I instead took Small Town and arrived beforehand to arrange the Second Army, reinforce the night watch, and alert the Honeysuckle Family as I do so as to prevent someone from raiding the gates and the like.”
“These matters, you shouldn’t have told me,” May said shocked while shaking her head.
“You asked, and it’s not like this is a secret operation,” Carter drank the wine, “rest assured, I still have a sense of discretion.”
“Good,” she answered, curling her lips, “So, how did you get to the theater?”
“After I took care of the matters at hand, all of the sudden I happen to hear about your play and suddenly had the desire to come and see you perform on a real theater stage, wondering what it would look like. And it was just like I thought, even though I could only see the last part of the play, your performance was still wonderful.” the Knight praised. “So, I went to backstage intending to invite you to a drink, but I didn’t know whether I should come in or not. Thus, I was indecisively wandering in front of the door when I heard the argument inside…”
“You’ve already been outside from early on?” May frowned.
“I did not mean to eavesdrop,” Carter said in defense while he raised his hands. “It’s just an accident, I promise.”
“Puff,” May couldn’t suppress a chuckle and then said in comfort, “I don’t blame you, there is no reason to show an expression like that.”
“You don’t?” The Knight breathed out in relief and reached for the wine, only to get stopped by May.
“You still have night duty, right?” May shook his finger and said, “Therefore, I can only let you drink a small cup and no refill. But…” She smiled, “Wait until the end of the mission, then you can nicely invite me.”
After Carter left, May took another cup of wine and leaned back against the chair.
Since she had tasted the wine for the first time, she discovered that she had slowly started to enjoy its hot and mellow flavor.
As for Carter’s previous invitation, she already had a faint answer to it within her heart. It is indeed only possible to know the results of some matters after trying them, just like the wine in my hands. Although the first taste was difficult to swallow, but compared with its following richness and mellowness, those sour and sweet fruit wines or the bland ale just can’t compare.
After the end of the theater season, I might as well take my father with me and settle in Border Town, right?
Roland arrived in Longsong Stronghold two days later.
Petrov and members of the five families came out of the city to welcome His Highness the Prince and his troops.
After stationing the First Army into the stronghold, Roland went straight to the castle and held a brief meeting.
“I got my hands on reliable news, Timothy has raised a force that is advancing towards the stronghold.” Roland announced after sitting down on the Lord’s seat at the top of a flight of steps, while looking down on the nobles gathered beneath, “Their actual number and the route they’ve taken is unknown, but there is no doubt that they are coming for me. According to Timothy’s consistent tactic, they are bound to expand their troops by plundering and conscripting the civilians; before using drugs to force them to attack us.”
“Excuse me, Your Highness,” the eldest son of the Wolf Family interrupted puzzled, “The drugs you are speaking about…”
“A type of vicious red pill, that can give civilians more strength than a knight, but after the effect wears off, those who took it can only helplessly struggle before dying.” In addition to Petrov, the other four influential families didn’t know about the Church’s secret medicine, so Roland gave a simple description of the characteristics and the source of the pill. Then he continued, “Through this plan Timothy continues to weaken the resistance of the Western Territory. Any person he cannot use is a target of looting and enforcing, the same goes for your territory. As the Protector of the Western Territory, I request that you clearly explain the situation to your Family’s staff and the commoners staying on your land; and that you transfer all of them into the city, so that Timothy won’t be able to expand his force.”
“But the food and stored goods in our warehouses…”
“You can move as much as possible,” Roland decisively interrupted, “However, I can only give you three days, until then all the commoners in the surrounding have to have been gathered together inside of the stronghold. After I beat back Timothy’s troops, you can all naturally leave.”
After the conclusion of the meeting, the Prince summoned Iron Axe to the castle.
In fact, by no means had he disclosed the exact situation to the nobility. Lightning and Maggie were already able to expose the whereabouts of the troops coming from King’s City. Unlike the previous group of invaders, they were traveling by sailboat this time, and moving straight along the Redwater River’s channel in an attempt to enter the hinterland of the Western Territory by passing through Willow Town.
This was a very thorny route, at the time the enemy came to the river’s bifurcation point, they could either follow the tributary to attack Longsong Stronghold’s Southern and Eastern Gate or continue following the river westwards and go straight for Border Town.
In order to prevent his defending troops from needing to split up and create a situation of attending to one thing and losing sight of another, he needed to concentrate his superior military strength and take the initiative to go out and defeat the enemy.
Evidently, the Redwater River’s bifurcation would be the most suitable place for such an ambush.