Chapter 94 Destruction doesn’t need a reason
The artillery production was also advancing steadily , the second round of production for the cannons had already entered the drilling phase, while the third round was still at the material collection phase.
If he is lucky, Roland could have a gorgeous lineup of four 12-pounders after a month. There was no doubt of his superiority in terms of firepower. But the question now was how could he turn this advantage into a winning situation, and Roland was still striving for an answer to this.
Before he’d crossed over he was just working as a mechanical dog, and just like for most of the other people in that world, his understanding of war had only come from history, movies and games. If it was just a battle with cold weapons, he could have handed over the command to Carter and Iron Axe. But this battle wasn’t the same as those two had previously fought, there was no one who would be able to understand these new hot weapons better than himself.
That being the case, he could only gather the knowledge they had and build his own plans on that foundation in additional to his knowledge from a later era.
In order to ensure his victory, Roland let Lightning travel every day between Border Town and Longsong Stronghold. On one hand to observe the road’s conditions, and on the other hand because he needed to accurately calculate the distance. Roland believed that the victory in war was built on a foundation of previous gathered information and calculations. Whether it was a tactical development, or the deduction of each stage of a battle, receiving victory in a battle was inseparably linked to these two points.
Roland once more took the one-meter long iron pipes and the one hundred meter long hemp ropes he’d made for determining the firing range of his cannons. Then he went to the artillery testing area west of Border Town and measured with them a distance of one kilometer. Then he let Lightning fly this distance so that she would always do it in the same amount of time.
When she had skillfully remembered exactly how much magic to use, Roland began to measure the distance between the Longsong Stronghold and Border town. Using a sundial to measure the time that was needed for a round-trip, he had calculated the distance between the two places was around fifty-five kilometers.
Of course, this was the linear distance between two points. In fact, if traveling by land, you would need to take two big bends in order to avoid crossing over the foothill of the Impassable Mountain Range. So in the case that the Duke choose to attack by land, he would need at least three days to reach Border Town.
With Lightning as a Scout, Roland would be able to have always have a clear idea where the enemy was and what he had to do.
Within the range of two kilometers to the west of Border Town, he had inserted many signal flags to signal the distance, so if the enemy entered this area his artillery could quickly adjust the muzzle angle without the need of firing a test shot.
Now he began to worry what to do if the other party didn’t start an attack.
At this moment, a knocking sound came from the door.
Nightingale, who had been lying all the time on the couch, chewing dried fish slices, vanished. Seeing this, Roland coughed twice, and said, “Come in.”
The door opened and his assistant minister Barov stepped in, “Your Highness, a member of the aristocracy of Longsong Stronghold want to see you.”
“Who?” asked Roland only to directly ask once again, “Did they send that ambassador again?”
“No, not the ambassador,” Barov shook his head, “It is one of the nobles who left before the beginning of the Months of Demons, Baron Cornelius, who’s came back now.”
Roland had to think a moment until he remembered that indeed there were nobles living in Border Town that had escaped to the stronghold. But now they dare to come back? They immediately return when spring starts. Doesn’t they respect the royal law? “Why does he want to see me?”
“During the construction of the wall, his house was demolished,” said the assistant to the treasurer. “If you don’t want to receive him, I could send him out.”
Roland wanted to take him up on his offer, but then he changed his mind, “Let the Baron wait for me in the parlor.”
Maybe through him, Roland could put some pressure on Longsong Stronghold, at least this was something he would like to happen.
After dawdling for around half an hour, Roland leisurely entered the parlor. After arriving he saw a man with a very round belly impatiently waiting beside the long table. While the man restlessly walked up and down, the additional layers of meat on his face swayed in accordance with his steps. Seeing that His Highness had finally appeared, the Baron stopped his walking and reluctantly went through the royal greeting ceremony.
“Sit down,” Roland went to the table and placed himself in his seat. According to his usual habits, even if it wasn’t time for dinner, he would let his kitchen at least prepare a dessert, but today he did not even let them prepare tea.
“Your Highness, Prince,” murmured Cornelius, and started speaking even before he sat, “How could you let that stupid stonemason take my house apart? That was still a good house. From the parapet, the logs used for the roof beam column was also of the best quality. When I had it built, I had to spend more than one hundred… no, one hundred and fifty gold royals!” While speaking he agitatedly waved with his hands.
One hundred and fifty, hearing this Roland had to use a lot of strength to suppress his laughter. If it was still the Prince from before, when looking through the old memories, maybe I really would have believed that. But now… “You mean the house located the furthest to the west?”
“Well,” said Cornelius while nodding, “It was the grand mansion, second only to Baron Simon’s.”
“It’s such a pity, that it was located too close to the wall, and had hindered the passage of my men,” Roland said , after stopping for a moment then he continued, “but the Town Hall had already decided on the compensation.
Roland stretched out two fingers, “Twenty gold royals.”
“That’s too little! Your Royal Highness…” shouted Cornelius while spraying spittle everywhere. Eventually, he calmed down. Then he took out his handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Well, twenty, twenty gold royals, where should I go get the money?”
“Get?” Roland put on a puzzled look. “The money has already been paid to the owner of the house.”
“What? Wait, wait… I am the owner of that mansion!”
“It’s not you. It’s Blair, the captain of my second militia.”
“Who is that?” the Baron asked once more in a loud voice, “Your Highness, you are mistaken, I am the Master of the House!”
“But I didn’t see you during the winter,” Roland picked up his brow, “How then can that house be yours?”
“Of course I wasn’t there; I went back to the Longsong Stronghold. Who would stay in this god forsaken place, this place is only able to be used as a feeding ground for the demonic beast?!”
“So you want to say you fled because you feared the demonic beasts. And you still have the face to call yourself a Lord?” asked Roland.
“I, uh…” the Baron was suddenly stunned and didn’t know how to reply.
“Guards,” Roland clapped his hands, and immediately two guards came into the parlor, holding Cornelius between them.
“We’re in the Palace Hallo, what do you mean with this!?”
“Very simple, you now have two choices,” Roland stood up from the seat, freezing Cornelius with his look, “First, you admit that you’ve wronged, that the house doesn’t belong to you. And then I can look at what happened just now as nothing more than a farce. Your second option is admitting that during the Months of Demons, you betrayed your Lord, fleeing from the battle without the permission of your Lord, shamefully escaping to Longsong Stronghold. If you take this option, I will put you in prison for desertion, where you will wait for the day of your hanging. Which one do you choose?”
The sweat pouring from Cornelius’ forehead didn’t stop, he swallowed in fear, hesitated for a moment before he quivered: “Your Highness, I… I made a mistake, it was not my house.
“So this was all a misunderstanding,” Roland shrugged, and then said to the guards, “Send the Baron on his way.”
When Cornelius was nearly through the door, the Prince stopped him once more: “Right, when you take your ship back to the Longsong Stronghold can you please deliver a message for me? Tell those… ah, who have maybe the same misunderstanding as yourself, in case they don’t want to choose the second option, they don’t need to waste their time by coming to Border Town.
“Anything you want, Your Highness,” Cornelius said with a forced smile while leaving the room. But the moment he turned around, Roland could see how his counterpart was gnashing his teeth.
Like this, I ought to have created a big enough uproar within Longsong Stronghold, right? Roland thought.