Road To The Crown 236 Making Decision

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17th July 1574 late night/very early morning

"It's lit!"

All it took for my men to become agitated was a single flare taking off to the skies. This alone was enough to prove and explain why in the future, when the privately own company would launch its s.p.a.ce probe for the very first time into s.p.a.ce, the live stream from that event would be watched by such a huge following!

It lied on man's nature to seek a way to reach the stars. Maybe it was something ingrained into our souls ever since we learned how to use some basic tools, maybe it was nothing but a basic survival instinct forcing us to constantly expand and seek new habitats.

Yet rather than enjoying this tranquil moment of peace during which both the merchants staying in the town and those of my troops that could enter along with me were all watching the flight of the flare, I already directed my thoughts towards the strategy of the upcoming battle.

After all, there was no realistic way to avoid fighting with the forces that besieged Tarnow. The only question was, how do we go about this fight?

With how long it took to even reach Tarnowian marketplace, it would be impossible for us to reach the spot that I initially designed for my battleplans under the cover of the night. By the time we would be barely halfway through the open fields of the area, the bright sun of the day would scream into the eyes of the enemy commander about our approach!

In fact, I knew I didn't need to be as cautious as I currently was. No matter how big of a force the enemy could present, it could never match the capabilities of neither my new rifles nor the improves reaper guns. 

Yet even if I could just cast all of their lives away, there was still the problem of possible casualties. And not only those in my army!

In the end, the more people of Ostros I killed during that siege, the harder it would later get to denounce their claims of me being a traitor! That's why, rather than allowing them to sweep me into the gears of this self-fulfilling prophecy - or rather, accusation - I had to find a way to break the spirit of the enemy forces without culling half of their numbers!

"What are you thinking so hard about?"

With no place safe for my family anymore, I decided… Or rather, I was informed about the decision that I allegedly made regarding Elia's whereabouts. Apparently, after a long night of thinking about this topic, I decided that it would be for the best to keep her close to me. While I saw some problems with how some of my decisions were made without actually my voice ever-present during the debate over them, yet when faced with a daring grin on Elia's face, I couldn't really say that much against it.

"How should we play that battle out. I'm worried that enclosing all the mercenaries might be as good as a blessing as much as a curse."

If only I could figure out a way before the battle started, how to let some of my enemies run towards the Tarnow rather than it's a marketplace, then I could use those 'dire news' to bait the enemies into actually lifting the siege and coming after me.

Sadly, this option was closed for me already. After all, with how close and important point the marketplace was for the Tarnow and the Castle itself, there was no way Ostros didn't keep the consistent communication with the troops stationed there. Even if I were to free some of the mercenaries to let them be found out, the chances that they would actually bother trying to deliver the news were as small as my chances of ever becoming the first, married pope.

"If that's the problem you have, why not push it on their side? It's not like they can continue the siege while having unknown forces to their side. With how close we are to the city right now, they can't risk being sandwiched between a sortie from the castle or even the city, and our forces attacking from the marketplace!"

As ignorant as Elia was when it came to military, her wits alone often made up for her lack of experience, making her come up with some kind of brilliant ideas like the one she shared just now.

"Wait, that's actually not that bad of an idea… But the problem is, what if Ostros would just enclose us here, and wait for the reinforcement from the senate? It's not like they would let us speak… And for every moment that we stall in here, the potential losses to the east are closer and closer to completely immobilizing the entire country as a whole!"

Just like with everything else, when it came to conquest, there was a certain level of critical ma.s.s that a country could handle. Occupying most of its land lead to the unrest amongst the population, military… 'reprivatisation' of the edible and valuable a.s.sets… But just as much as conquering and occupying lands was risky to the aggressor, so it was for those lands owners. After all, what kind of ruler would ever let his lands be occupied without a response?

Yet the problem was, Commonwealth currently had no King. Seeing how muscovites apparently made their move, it was quite possible that they aimed to place their own candidate on the throne, pus.h.i.+ng aside their greatest rival by mutilating its way of governing itself!

"You speak as if that was something bad, but when you think about it, doesn't playing on the time works for us the best? While I know that it's bad that we can't immediately go and relieve the frontlines, what is the faster way to get the entire senate to listen to you, than forcing them to come to you by being falsely accused of treason and occupying a vital spot required to actually attempt any siege on your lands?"

Maybe it wasn't the case of her military wits, but her overall logical thinking. For someone who spent a huge chunk of her life on the road, constantly trying to figure out what her next step should be and what would be its aim, it was no wonder that she was capable of connecting the dots that I didn't even realise the existence off. 

"That's actually… both great and terrible idea. Starting from the b.u.t.t side, you do realise that if the word will get out, then no matter what else we would ever do in our lives, we would be known as those who put our own good name and wealth above that of a country?"

As much as I started to like the idea of acting entirely pragmatic, it would have its own downsides. That's why I had to make sure I had Elia's consent before going forth with her idea!

"Yeah, I do realise that. But on the other hand, why is this a good idea?"

Shrugging her arms at the motion of bad fame that could be attributed to us, Elia focused on what was really important.

"We could get far better terms… We would be in an insanely great situation by doing that!"

Just as I smiled at Elia, I saw some light moving in the relatively close distance.

"It seems like our luggage has finally arrived."

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Road To The Crown 236 Making Decision summary

You're reading Road To The Crown. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): MotivatedSloth. Already has 85 views.

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