Chapter 221 Rescue Plan
Since he had decided on his course of action, the first question he faced was: Should he himself also travel to King’s City?
This would be Border Town’s first military operation away from the Western Region, and it would also be different than the two defensive wars prior to it. Certainly, they would come across unfamiliar environmental circumstances which could cause complications. Whether they could display their combat ability without a prepared battlefield, was still unknown. All this made it hard for him to feel relief in the event that he didn’t go to King’s City. On the one hand, he knew that his own military experience was extremely limited, but on the other, his understanding of war could still be regarded as the highest level for this era.
But the moment he left Border Town, the Western Region would become unclaimed land. If the message of this were to reach Longsong Stronghold. It would be a foolish hope to believe that Petrov could prevent all the other noble families from moving, trying to take advantage. As long as people were willing to disclose this information to Timothy, perhaps he would not care if he had to suffer a calamity at the front lines or in his backyard caused by the witches. But if he knew that Roland was near King’s City it would be strange if he didn’t assemble his army to encircle him. Even if it didn’t come to that, even if Timothy let him off, as long as he commanded his soldiers to move from the Northern Region to the Western Region, Roland would be in an equally tight situation.
Generally speaking, compared with suffering a defeat at the frontline, a fire in one’s own backyard was several times more severe.
In the end, Roland decided to stay in Border Town.
After all, the First Army’s primary task would be to protect the witches, while their second task would be to split the fugitives into small groups and let them onboard the ships. So rather than fearing an encounter with Timothy in King’s City, it would be more likely that they would have to face the Church’s Army of Judges. But as long as the rescue measures were carried out correctly, and nothing unexpected happened, they won’t even need to let loose a single shot.
Of course, this meant that he would have to make sure that the rescue plan was as perfect as possible.
At noon that day, Roland called Carter, Iron Axe, Bryan and the members of the Witch Union over.
The 4th Prince only had some fuzzy childhood impressions of the land surrounding King’s City, but this was a problem which could be easily solved, he asked Soraya to draw a simple map on top of the dining table in the living room. He then began giving Iron Axe and Brian their commands.
“This central square represents King’s City and the blue line depicts the canal.” Roland said while in thought, “You have two tasks, the first is to protect the witches while they cure the fugitives, and afterward you are to bring them back to Border Town. Your second duty is to prevent the demonic plague from further spreading in King’s City. For this, you should be aware that the epidemic is most likely being caused by the Church.
“Wh-What?” Brian was shocked, not daring to believe his ears. Carter raised his brows. While Iron Axe’s expression didn’t change at all, after all, he was a follower of the three Gods, just like the other Sand People were, and because of that he had no worship for the Church or any belief in their claims, which left Roland with a very pleased feeling towards him.
“After the Church’s permanent annexation of the Kingdom of Endless Winter, they immediately started their attack on the Wolfsheart Kingdom. After they’ve conquered the Wolfsheart Kingdom, it is only a matter of time before the Kingdom of Dawn and Graycastle become their next goal. In fact, the whole Battle for the Throne is already by itself worthy of skepticism.”
The Prince went through the details how the Church was helping Timothy in the North, Garcia in the Southwest and himself by supplying them with the pills. “In the light of this information we can see that they aren’t supporting who they think will be the next heir, but instead they are encouraging us to kill each other off. By swallowing their pills, it also becomes improbable that our soldiers will turn into veterans. On the contrary, after taking the pills, their whole body will become weak, and they will die a gruesome death. This time the same can be said about the disease. After the demonic disease has spread all over King’s City, the Church will finally declare that they have the antidote, which ironically won’t be distributed for the benefit of the people.”
“Only the light which shines in the darkest of places is the most dazzling,” Iron Axe opened his mouth.
“That’s right, if you want to be seen as a savior, you have to come to the people at their most painful moment. The stronger experience the contrast, the deeper will be their impression of the Church. As for the innocent who died in the middle of the road, those are merely the sacrifices whose belief was not sincere enough,” Roland stated. “So we will have to save the refugees from the East, but at the same time we also have to try to destroy the Church’s conspiracy.
After taking a deep breath to calm himself down, Brian asked, “How should we do that?”
“You have to hide as much as possible, trying to fulfill your duties in such a way that the other side doesn’t perceive you.” Roland points to a wide area on the outskirts of the canal, south of the pier, “Here, the land should be covered with crops, making it very suitable to hide at. There you should also find a high point, which allows you to establish lookout to scout out the pier. The soldiers responsible for providing support will disguise themselves as caravan guards once more and help the already treated people to get on board. I will write merchant Margaret a letter, asking her to provide me with as many ships as possible, not only the two fleets which are already involved with the transportation.
“Whether it is Longsong Stronghold or Graycastle’s capital, there are only a few big cities’ patrol forces who can cover the surrounding area, most of the time their investigation and warning area depends on how far they can see when staying on the city wall. So, the area south of the pier should be outside of their patrol area, when we then locate our troops at this point, it is unlikely for them to raise the city guard’s attention.”
“How do you want to treat the sick?” Iron Axe asked.
“This task will largely depend on Lily’s replica,” Roland roughly explained to them the young woman’s unusual ability. “Making it unnecessary to walk into the fugitive camp to heal these people. In other words, since any microorganism can become a replica you only have to collect the river water and let her purify it steadily. Afterward, you only have to give it to those who are sick to drink.”
“Like… that?” He gawked at Roland, totally disbelieving.
“There are two points you have to take note of,” the Prince raised two fingers, “First, you have to ensure that every person on board had drunken the purified water and second, you are absolutely prohibited from boiling the drinking water to clean it. In fact, the dirtier the water, the better it would be. It would contain more microorganism which means that the number of replicas in it will also be more. You might be unable to understand this, but as long as you do what I told you, everything will be okay.”
“What about the patients in King’s City, will we treat them the same way?”
“Almost, but the medicine cannot be delivered by our people, that would be too obvious. This task will fall under Theo’s responsibility,” Roland decided, “As long as they get their money, the street rats’ work efficiency will be very high.”
“Your Royal Highness, those street rats aren’t reliable, as long as it’s profitable, they may stab you in the back at any time.” Carter objected.
“Therefore the second part is only to prevent it as much as possible and isn’t necessary to be completed,” the Prince stood up, “The moment you sense something amiss, the First Army must immediately protect the witches and withdraw. As long as we are able to receive the refugees smoothly, it’s already our victory, regardless of how many people we were able to save in King’s City. Undermining the Church’s plan isn’t possible to achieve by just relying on purified water, as long as we can disprove their claim that ‘Only the Holy Elixir can repel the evil spirits’, their set game has already failed.”
“Finally, I will now declare the people who will travel to King’s City,” he shouted, “Iron Axe!”
“You will lead 240 soldiers who will be responsible for protecting the witches and controlling the canal, for this eliminating every potential threat. Be sure to bring back the witches and the refugees.”
“I will do as you bid, Your Highness!” Iron Axe stood straight and saluted.
“Yes!” The young Knights stick out his chest.
“You will lead sixty soldiers disguised as mercenaries, and you will be in charge of the medicine delivery, and make sure that the refugees will maintain order when boarding the ships.”
“As you command, Your Highness!”
“Next are the witches, this time leaving to King’s City by ship will be Nightingale, Echo, Lightning and Wendy.” Roland’s voice slowed down, “Your task will be somewhat unique so that I will explain it in a little while. Now it is only important to note that you always pay attention to your own security, ensuring your safe return.”
“Rest assured, Your Highness,” Nightingale patted her chest, “I will be with them.”
Roland nodded, “In that case, we come to the final point, which is also the most important aspect, after arriving in King’s City, the army can stay there for three days at most. After these three days, no matter how the actual situation is, you must return to Border Town.” He emphasized every word, “In case the Church plans to destroy the resistance of Graycastle, they certainly won’t spread the disease only to King’s City, most likely the Western Region will also be one of their goals. So you cannot stay in King’s City for longer than these three days, do you understand?”
“Yes, Your Highness!” Iron Axe and Brian answered in unison.
“Very well, then let us carry out this plan.”
“Hold on… Your Highness, what will I do?” Carter raised his hand.
“You will lead the rest of the First Army and guard my Border Town.” Roland patted his shoulder.