TL: I have 3 more TAS chapters to post soon, checking grammar now. And, *head scratch*, I guess I’m opening up sponsored chapters for the time being. Just checked my bank account and the upcoming medical procedures. I kind of want to get a little money to cover it a little, if possible.
So if you guys are interested in helping me out, my paypal is firstname.lastname@example.org , you can choose either TAS or TSTBGAM, otherwise I’ll be drawing stuff.
Chapter 33 – Expansion (14)
“……. Lord Macsen’s army has reached Port Gris.” Brendel said.
Everyone was taken aback and were unable to react. Brendel did not request Bosley to leave when he informed his subordinates, but the latter bowed slightly and said:
“Since this topic is unrelated to me, this old man shall take his leave,” he said and acted accordingly to the nobles’ etiquette by placing his left hand over his chest, “although, my lord, I’ll be waiting to hear good news from you.”
Bosley then left the courtyard with leisurely footsteps.
“What’s going on?” Jana glared at Bosley’s back and saw him disappear behind a wall while she asked. She then turned around to face Brendel: “We hadn’t received news that of any army departing.”
“The scouts sent news directly to the Nightsong Tiger,” Brendel explained, and he introduced the young Wild Elf girl next to him: “This is Felaern, I believe you have seen her before. I’ll let her speak.”
Everyone’s gaze fell onto her, but she continued to wear a stoic expression, raising her chin a little as she repeated the information that she told Brendel.
Their faces took on odd expressions when they heard Lord Macsen only brought seven hundred-odd soldiers over the river. The enemy’s army was comprised of mostly private soldiers recruited from farmers, a portion of it mercenaries, and a small handful of knights.
“Wait, this idiot lord, surely he’s not eager to send himself to his death right?” Jana flipped a few strands of her long red hair back behind her neck, shaking her head without comprehension: “We can take him down easily in a single swoop if he brought so little men.”
“Is it possible that it’s some form of trap?” Cornelius asked cautiously.
“No, I think it’s because Lord Macsen believes that the mercenaries wouldn’t be so bold, to the point that they would stay here,” Brendel explained his thoughts to them, “Graudin’s most loyal knights were killed by us long ago, and the remaining private soldiers he had were shady adventurers and questionable mercenaries. When they were driven away by us, do you think they would escape to Lord Macsen or Lord Palas to report Firburh’s situation?”
The mercenaries were silent. It was not exactly an honorable thing to abandon their lords, especially in this era. It was possible for the deserters to be sent to the gallows so no one would do something so disadvantageous.
“Which is why the news Lord Macsen and Lord Palas received came from other sources. For example, the news came from the Firburh’s refugees.” He continued to explain.
“We locked down the surrounding areas around Firburh to prevent Graudin’s soldiers from running away that particular night,” Amandina added after Brendel’s words, “and your men were sent to the various chokepoints within ten miles of the city. You know it best whether Lord Macsen’s scouts managed to infiltrate the city.”
Jana and Cornelius exchanged glances. Their mercenaries were highly experienced, and while they were not great soldiers, they were excellent hunters. They did not believe a small noble like Lord Macsen had scouts capable of entering the city or gather accurate information about their forces.
It was evident that he was arrogant enough to set off with their troops with such limited information, and it seemed like he did not view these ‘rebelling commoners’ as a threat.
Brendel scratched his forehead. Jana and Cornelius were standing at attention ever since he appeared before them. His mind was a little surprised but realized that ever since he recruited Tagiv and its men, the mercenary commanders seemed to understand their positions under him were weak.
He had displayed enough strength to make them cut off any useless thoughts like how they had to submit to Brendel to avoid Count Randner’s revenge, and were now contemplating what positions they could get under him. Even Jana who did not like fighting for influence had to think about her men.
[I see, this is what they are thinking about…… When these two commanders heard that Lord Macsen only had seven hundred men, they were ready to join in because there are thousands of Subterrane Dwellers as our allies. That means it’s easy to attain victory and they are willing to vie for achievements.]
In truth, Raban had come before him to hand over his men for direct control even before the battle for the lumber mills. But Brendel did not do so as he thought this would cause Jana and Cornelius to become uneasy in their positions.
He thought for a while before he replied: “Cornelius, prepare your men and meet up with Raban; tell him about Lord Macsen’s arrival. Then you’re to find a way to go around Lord Macsen and get to his rear to cut off his retreat path. If it’s possible, capture every one alive, especially Lord Macsen. I have use for him—”
Brendel rubbed his chin as he pondered momentarily: “…….. Of course, I’ll defer things to your judgment if a situation crops up.”
Cornelius’s eyes lit up slightly as though a burden had been lifted off his back. He glanced at Jana and answered gravely: “As you wish, my lord.”
When he finished his words, he acted like a real knight by tidying up the position of his sword and saluted to Brendel. He then turned away and left the courtyard, with his satisfied footsteps hitting the stone pavement.
Jana could not help but glower at him, but she did not say anything in the end. Medissa and Amandina were relieved to find the arguments were over, although the latter knew that her troubles were not over. The problem with the budget allocation was still unsolved, and delaying it was not a solution.
“My lord, are you not going to the frontlines?” Amandina asked while she gathered the documents she had brought along.
“There’s nothing to look at,” Brendel shook his head. He did not think there would be any unforeseen situations and allowing the Nightsong Tiger and the other two mercenary commanders lead their own men would be more effective than him doing so.
He was a warrior who led charges straight into the battlefield and certainly not a commander. Being a city’s lord was already hard enough to cause him a headache, and he wanted to be lazy whenever he could. If he had time, he would rather solve the more pressing issues.
“How much money do we still have left?” He said.
“Approximately 3,500,000 Tor coins, including the valuable objects that Graudin has. But considering the issue of time, the current amount of coins we can use is less than a third,” Amandina’s expression became solemn and replied, “also, the question of food is right up our noses. Trentheim’s current food production is equivalent to its expenditure. We don’t have surplus food for our men and don’t forget, Ser Leto is bringing along a few thousand refugees.”
Brendel did not forget about that point and nodded as an acknowledgment.
“When it comes to trading, it’s not as simple as it looks. First of all, we don’t have any ships—” Amandina continued.
“But there should be ships in Port Gris, right?” Medissa whispered to her. Although she was not familiar with Aouine’s territory, she had studied Trentheim’s geography to handle any future battles.
“Leaving aside the issue of us not controlling Port Gris, this particular harbor is mostly used for fishing. While there are a few merchant ships using it, the biggest problem we have is whether they are willing to work for us. If they do, we’re going to fork out another large sum of money. But we can’t afford to spend our current funds on this because we are likely to spend half of what we have in the upcoming battles. To be honest, I’m not sure how long our situation is going to last because Count Randner will never let us have it easy.”
Amandina sighed at this point before she continued:
“Finally, we control Firburh, but that’s only in name. The majority of the city isn’t willing to work with us, and our situation is truly in a terrible state. Right now, I’m more inclined to hide with the Dark Forest. No matter how brilliant you are, we can’t do anything without money, my lord.”
She then cast a resentful glare at Brendel: “As for the promised building for my Magicite Research, it’s fine, I can continue to wait for it, but it seems like Bosley isn’t interested in waiting……”
Brendel smiled wryly at her words, as they were the exact opposite of ‘fine’. She was right, to solve Trentheim’s lack of food, he needed to find a way to trade, and the lack of money was the core for most of his problems.
[The first thing I need to solve is the issue of money. Romaine made a profit in Bruglas and left it to Leto’s daughter. If she didn’t encounter any issues, I could probably get around a few hundred thousand Tor coins. But Count Randner is in the way because he’s blocking Grinoires and Trentheim. Then my first idea would be…… the silver mine in Schafflund.]