“Grand Commander, should I congratulate you first or shall I congratulate your accomplishments first?”
I looked at Leah, who was in front of me, and smiled, “That depends on your standpoint. If you still consider yourself a member of the North, then you shouldn’t feel either of those sentiments.”
She looked at me and calmly replied, “I am not a resident of the North. I am my Queen’s bodyguard and lover. I sincerely hope that you can keep the promise between us and treat our Queen well once you have captured the city. You must know that I have always been working hard for your victory, telling the people not to stop your army, so you should keep your promise to us.”
I looked at her torn and tattered clothing. Her diligent efforts were evident. She didn’t lie. She continued to give her best effort for her Queen and me. I wouldn’t take advantage of somebody so loyal, and also respected my trust. She couldn’t do anything about it even if I did pull a quick one on her, but I wouldn’t, as I respected her, her love and her efforts.
“I will respect your Queen. However, she needs to survive our attack first. Sorry, but I value my soldiers’ lives more than our agreement. Leah, don’t get agitated yet. It’s not that I don’t have any plans. You should be aware that the soldiers think that they have achieved victory already. Dying right before your victory is the epitome of idiocy; therefore, they won’t be as courageous as they were before at the final battle. For that reason, I can’t just send them to their deaths. Can you sneak into the city and return to the palace to inform your Queen? Tell her to prepare food and thick clothes, and then hide in the dungeon.”
She looked at me asked with suspicion, “What do you want to do?”
“I’m going to use the same method as last time. Do you understand now? I can’t ensure that your Queen will survive the snow avalanche, but I believe that you’ll be fine in the dungeon of the palace. Bring enough food and warm clothes to hide down there. We’ll then come and dig you out. Don’t worry.”
Leah looked at me and nodded, “All right. In that case, I shall enter the city to inform my Queen. We will put up a red flag on the city wall once we are ready. You can start firing after that.”
I nodded, “All right. You can rest assured, Leah. I will definitely respect you. I won’t forget what you did for me and I will bring your Queen back to the elven lands.”
Leah looked at me with excitement and grabbed my hand. She excitedly asked, “Really?!”
“Ah… Of course. Didn’t I promise you…? I’ll help your Queen, since her dream is to return home. That said, your Queen will lose her right to rule. This is our internal agreement, but you are still the losers, so you will also lose your right to rule.”
“That does not matter. My Queen does not want to be a Queen in the first place. She just wants to return home. She wants to see the lands where flowers do not wither in any season of the year. That is all she asks. You just need to give her that. Nothing else matters!!”
Leah looked at me. She was so touched that she was on the verge of tears. I retreated a bit, because she gave me a little fright, “You don’t need to react that way, Leah. It’s what I promised you, and something I will surely do. In saying that, what comes after that will depend on Queen Vyvyan… I am not the Elven King at the moment.”
“All right, all right. You have already done what you promised us. I shall give you my thank you here, first. I believe that my Queen will be grateful to you, as well. I am sure of it!”
Leah saluted me with excitement. I guessed that it was the salute used by guards in the palace. She looked at me, and then left without even taking a bath this time.
I didn’t need to concern myself with how she entered. The citizens around the Imperial City were currently moving toward the Imperial City to take shelter. I didn’t want to concern myself with it. I, actually, hoped for more and more people to enter the Imperial City. All I had to do after was then surround the city until the hungry and angry citizens opened the doors for me. I just didn’t know if they had a supply warehouse in the city or not.
I noticed that there where was a large mill in the centre of the city. I decided that I would blow the mill up first whether or not they do have food. I might find myself a big present once I blew up that structure that was connected to food.
That meant I had nothing I could do on my side for the meantime. Next, was waiting for the cannons to arrive. They wouldn’t take too long to arrive. There were no more problems.
Although using the same method twice makes for a dull story, it’s fine as long as it works. Who cares about the rest? A good method never goes out of fashion. I had no need to send my soldiers to their deaths when fighting the enemy. My soldiers were no longer willing to go all out. Dying right before you win is just a waste. It wasn’t hard to imagine the result of having soldiers who wanted to live fight soldiers who were fighting to their deaths.
Courage is a consumable. Don’t waste it when you don’t need it.
I planned to use mortars to blow up the snowy mountain behind the palace to drown it, and then lay siege to the city. Then, I’d blow up the snowy mountains around the city. That’d leave many citizens homeless, consequently leading to them bickering.
I heard that the city’s walls were reinforced with a layer of magic that was continuously reinforced. That would make it similar to a bone tough enough to shatter all my teeth. Their outer shell was incredibly tough, but their internal structure was as soft flesh is. I couldn’t break the city walls from the outside. So accordingly, I just had to get the people inside to help me open the doors. It was tough for us to capture the walls form the outside, but for the people inside, it was just a question of courage.
I just needed to give them the courage to carry it out. What was courage to them? When they’re cold and starving, even the lowest person would muster up the courage to run towards a chance at finding food and survival. It was only natural for people without firewood, food and hope to not trust the officials in the palace. They would definitely open the doors for us. Thus, we didn’t need to fight. We just needed to wait.
‘This is the future I want. This is the power and authority I want. Mommy Elizabeth was able to conquer half of the south alone. I conquered the entire North with one army. The residents at the border, who were harassed and harmed by the anthropoids, as well as the elves, will remember my contribution. Very soon, I will no longer be a Prince who’s just messing around, but an Emperor with his own accomplishments.’
‘Yes, this is the ending I wanted. This land belongs to me. This is where I rule supreme. Everybody here must obey me. Only here, can my wives and children live in peace. Only here, can I rest assured, because the people here are absolutely loyal to me and will protect my family.’