MEANWHILE AT FORT ELKEN
A FEW DAYS AGO
Bradheim has decided after he finished reading the letters. He sighed before nodding his head to no one like he has accepted the lot in his life.
Like Lord Hades accepted his dominion and his lot as the ruler of the Underworld, he too finally decided to accept his lot in life.
He decided that he will follow Aero plan. Just like Aero predicted maintaining the siege and attacking from a distance has worked very good in repelling the Orcs.
He also heeds Aero advice to avoid fighting with main units which consisted of Gruk and his trusted commanders.
After a few days fighting Bradheim also realized the Orcs in the main units are not only stronger but they are also smart like the adventurers.
It baffles Bradheim to no end. This is the first time he had such a hard time repelling the Orcs.
It is good that he listened to Aero advice.
After few days they have been able to annihilate about half of the Orcs horde. Now the Orcs are mainly consisted of division led by Gruk and his commanders.
The units that seems to be very formidable and smart. Their attack patterns are deadly and they are smart enough not to overextend from their formations.
Then it is time for the second phase. In the instruction that Aero has sent him, he instructed Bradheim to ask for a negotiations with Gruk.
Bradheim reluctantly followed the instruction and sent a letter to Gruk.
Usually Bradheim experience with Orcs has taught him that Orcs cannot be brought to the negotiation table but Aero said Gruk is not your average Orc.
He will understand and will be delighted to meet you in the negotiation table. Aero writes in the letter.
But Bradheim was not convinced.
Still he did it.
If Aero plan work it will save many of his troops lives. Then Bradheim was sent a reply from the Orcs.
Gruk wanted to meet. It was unexpected.
'An Orc that can read.' Bradheim mentioned when he got the report from his subordinates before smiling.
And so they prepared a venue for this meeting.
Of course both of them did not know that this meeting would determine the conclusion of the war between Vetten and Vanheim and opens a new era.
Like Sarah didn't know that her diplomacy has also help opening a new era of warfare and at the same time people vying for the Imperial Throne.
His trusted companion also accompanied Bradheim as a precaution if something goes wrong.
Then they departed to meet with Gruk in Larda Hill near the battlefield. Gruk was wearing an armor made of Griffin skull while riding a large warhorse
Bradheim does not show it but even he felt a little intimidated.
"Bradheim, you look good" Gruk said in a hoarse voice.
Bradheim was shocked. An Orc that can speak human language. Even though he is not supposed to be shocked.
The fact that he could reply his letter means that the Orc knew their language.
But before this he had no indication that Orcs can speak their language or even have strategic thinking.
That's why Bradheim was not too worried about the Orc invasion like George. But after fighting with Gruk these couple of days he had to acknowledge it.
Some of the Orcs are evolving. They are becoming smarter. Aero plan might be Vanheim salvation.
If the Orc is evolving to become smarter, then repelling Orc invasion will not be as easy as before.
"Yes, you too" replied Bradheim.
He was not sure if Orcs have etiquette when conversing with each other. The only thing he ever heard was grunting.
"Don't tease me. I'm an Orc. I never look good" It seems to be a joke.
The commander behind Gruk laughed. Even Gruk laughed.
"I'm sorry then" Bradheim said.
Even though he said sorry he still looks dignified. Gruk was looking curious why Bradheim wanted to negotiate.
"I'm curious, Bradheim. You totally have the advantage in this war. Why suddenly stop and ask for negotiation?" He asked.
Bradheim swallowed and began to explain truthfully following Aero instruction.
"To be honest this is not my plan, but it is Strategist Aero plan. He said you would know his name"
Gruk was shocked before nodding.
How can he not know? Kyle wouldn't stop speaking about it. Kyle is entering the war because he wanted recognition.
Gruk entered the war because his tribe needs supplies. Even when he was the leader of one tribe of Orcs it was burden enough.
Now the leader of ten tribes of Orcs, the burden on his shoulders just gets heavier.
"Yes, I do know. So he set this meeting. For what?" Then Bradheim handed a letter to Gruk.
"This is from him. He said this is the offer he will make if you would accept to stop attacking Fort Elken"
Gruk took the letter and hesitated before he finally decided to open it. Then he jumped down from his horse and read.
His expression first was a complicated expression like he was being found out then slowly his expression becomes happier.
He then laughed boisterously
The content of the letter explains that Aero knows about the Vetten plot.
He also explains to Gruk if he kept this attack, the Orcs will all be annihilated even if he had to bring every single soldier to Elken and doomed Vanheim.
The Orcs tribe will never accept him back if he failed. But it is not all sticks. Aero also offer some carrots.
Aero offers to join hands with him instead of Vetten and Kyle. If Gruk promise not to attack Vanheim, Aero will ask the King to open a trade route to the Orcs.
This will help in strengthening the Orcs under Gruk control and this can also supply the starving Orcs that live in barren lands belonging to Gruk.
The right where the trade route will set up will be the exclusive control of Gruk. Aero will ask the Merchants to supply some of their people to open stalls and shops.
Aero also promise the stuff will be cheaper by 30% for three years, only for the Orcs. In the letter Aero also explains how it will benefit Gruk.
With peace formed between Vanheim and the Orcs and with the trade routes established, players will be tempted to choose Orcs race.
It will also help Gruk solidify his power and if he does this his fame will resound everywhere.
Gruk was also thinking that this expedition of his is doomed. His supplies are almost empty. If they keep fighting here there is no doubt that he would lose.
Then after thinking, finally Gruk has made his decision.
'I'm sorry, Kyle. But I joined you because you gave me great offer. Aero has just outbided you. Don't blame me.' This was Gruk thoughts
Aero knows people like Gruk and he knows pole like Kyle.
A relationship where it is based on benefits could only be broken by a competitor with an even greater benefit.
And so after agreeing to the terms of agreement they signed a treaty of peace. That night Bradheim opened the stockroom and held a feast with the Orcs.
Gruk controlled the other Orcs as to not cause any trouble.
Everyone was happy and enjoying themselves. Music can be heard everywhere.
There was dancing. There was laughter. The soldiers were frightened at first but after seeing how rowdy the Orcs were they also began to enjoy themselves too.
A treaty of peace is a joyous occasion. This means the soldiers no longer need to risk their life and the citizens can be at peace.
That night Gruk also chatted with Bradheim about strategies and other things. Bradheim was delighted and amazed.
He didn't think the Orcs could hold an intelligent conversation. The next day Bradheim needs to go out of the Fort and head to Zantleaf to assist Aero armies.
Aero instruction is not over. There is still one deception left. Aero believes that Vetten will send spy to watch the progression of the Orcs.
With Gruk help, when they realized that Vetten spy is spying they acted like the Orcs has already occupied Elken.
It was not hard to do because after the feast many of the Orcs were still not waking up.
So, Bradheim troops simply hid themselves.
After confirming that the spy has gone, Bradheim thanked Gruk for his help and shook hands.
Gruk and his horde departed in good mood.
Now there will be a chance for advancement in culture of the Orcs, Gruk was thinking.
"Bradheim, this is a beginning of a beautiful friendship" Gruk was smiling.
Though Bradheim didn't think it was a smile. Orcs do not excel in making face expression. But Bradheim got the gist of it and he always admired strong warriors.
Then after the Orcs seeing them out of the Fort, Bradheim left about twenty thousand troops in the Fort.
Before he marched to Zantleaf he will need to ask about thirty thousand troops from his brother personal army.
Actually this is the choice Aero was talking about. Now that Gruk is no longer a threat Bradheim can march to the capital with all of his army and take the throne for himself.
And without Aero and George soldiers, it will be an easy throne to take.
But Aero must have foreseen this.
After all he bothered enough to investigate about Bradheim personality. Bradheim is strong. Bradheim is smart. Bradheim is charismatic.
And most importantly Bradheim is honorable. He will not kill the King, not when the Kingdom is in dire crisis.
That is who he is.
Duty first. Always. For the Kingdom. The Lion of Vanheim
And Aero knows this.
Which is why he knows, that right now, is the moment where Bradheim, the biggest threat to George throne is actually the most trustworthy person to have in George team.
And Bradheim also knows this, and he cannot lie to his own heart. So he will ask for the troops and does his duty.
He will save Aero. He will save the Kingdom. And he will brought his fearsome cavalry to trample upon the enemies of Vanheim like the Vanheim Guardians of Old.
Though he might be a little late.
'I will just laugh it off when I met him later.'
And as he was thinking of this, his warhorse step forwards and behind him, is his fearsome cavalry squad all looking to be ready to kill and bathe in the blood of their enemies.
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