Chapter 1231: Hope
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn
"The reason is fairly simple," Edith resumed before anyone could raise a question. "The Cage Mountain is not only a branch of the Impassable Mountain Range in the horizontal direction but also the highest point of the Kingdom of Dawn. The artillery of the First Army could have a broader view if they fire from there. Also, the demons will have restricted mobility, considering that there are fewer flying Devilbeasts than inferior Mad Demons."
"Secondly, the Red Mist tends to move toward the lowlands, and it becomes thinner as it stretches farther. Therefore, the witches shall build the defensive line at the highpoint of the land. I've heard that the front has already done so ahead of time."
"The last is His Majesty's Radiation Project." She surveyed the room at these words and continued, "We know that this project relies on the ores at the Cage Mountain. Before we find an alternative resource, we can't abandon the Cage Mountain."
Nobody questioned Edith's decision.
Nobody saw the final product of the Radiation Project, and they could not possibly imagine how much energy those tiny little spheres could produce, but all of them viewed the project as one of the most important missions, simply because Roland said so. Roland swelled up with pride at this thought.
This was probably the biggest achievement an engineering student could ever attain.
"But we can't desert the Kingdom of Everwinter or the Kingdom of Wolfheart completely either," Roland said as he cast a glance at Edith. "We need people to win the war."
"Yes. Therefore, while the Red Mist is spreading, the First Army should focus on bringing in immigrants and stopping the demons from advancing. I don't think the demons will set up outposts after the Red Mist spreads out. They'll build them right now, which was exactly what they did 400 years ago."
Edith paused for a second and said, "To be honest, the sudden appearance of the Bloody Moon helped the First Army. When people in the Kingdom of Everwinter and the Kingdom of Wolfheart see what kind of enemy they're dealing with, they'll automatically side with us. By that time, they'll beg Graycastle for help even if Iron Axe wants to shut them out."
At these words, Edith's lips curled up into a faint, inscrutable smile.
In that case, a lot of people would die.
Roland heaved a sigh.
Roland understood why Edith gloated over the misfortune of the refugees. He remembered a piece of news in his previous world saying that some residents opposed to build a cell tower and therefore lost cellphone reception. However, in a war that would determine the fate of the human race, Roland could not stand by watching those people suffer, even though it was because of their own stupidity.
"We harvested tons of Golden Twos this year," Roland said as he turned to Barov. "Draft a proposal and send some food to the Kingdom of Dawn. Make sure those refugees who left their native towns are fed."
"Your Majesty, if my understanding is correct, once we confirm the Red Mist would spread out, the First Army will immediately set off for the Cage Mountain. This will create a lot of pressure on the logistics," Barov replied hesitantly. "I can't guarantee we can provide food to the refugees while at the same time supplying our army. We won't have enough ships even if we borrow all the ships from the Chambers of Commerce at the Fjords."
This was a real problem. Even the largest sailboat in the Fjords would not meet the needs of the war. All the fleets were now filled with immigrants.
"Unless... we build a railway leading directly to the neighbor..." Barov said with great difficulties. He knew such a large project would cost tons of money. His heart ached every time money went out from the treasury.
"We probably don't have much time," Roland said while shaking his head. "The railway construction on the Fertile Plain has cost too many resources. If we build another railway, we won't be able to support the other projects."
The railway, which stretched away from the Misty Forest all the way to the ruins of Taquila, cost a great amount of steel. Its construction took a year and a half, not to mention that Leaf had amended the first half of the railway and that the second half was built on a flat plain. The road condition between Neverwinter and the Cage Mountain was more complicated than the Fertile Plains, so it would be hard to say how long it would take to build this new railway.
"I totally agree with you, Your Majesty..." Barov rejoined, apparently much relieved.
"Let's make a plan based on the current situation. Don't try to save money. Use the money well," Roland said. "As for the logistics, I'll see what I can do."
"Yes, Your Majesty."
Roland then looked toward Edith and said, "The General Staff should also draft a proposal based on the presumption that the farthest the Red Mist could go is the Cage Mountain. Then we'll discuss further in detail."
Smart as the Pearl of the Northern Region was, she had no problem in making a plan. Even if Roland did not remind her, she would understand the urgency of the matter.
"Leave it to me," Edith said while placing her hand on her chest.
Roland rose to his feet and surveyed the boardroom. "I told you before that the third Battle of Divine Will will determine the fate of the mankind. Now, it's coming." The victory of the Taquila war has proved to us that we could win, despite the miserable defeat 400 years ago. I hope we all do our best and devote ourselves to this war. I'm sure today will be remembered!" Roland proclaimed. "Listen, no matter who our enemy is, I only have one request, that is, we must win the battle!"
"As you wish, Your Majesty!" everyone shouted together.
It was going to be a busy night.
After everyone filed out of the boardroom, Roland held Tilly back.
"I want to have a private word with you."
After Roland returned to his office, he dismissed Nightingale and shut the door.
Tilly raised her brows and asked, "Something that you don't even want Nightingale to hear? It seems you're not planning to inquire about the training of the Aerial Knights."
Roland did not answer but poured a glass of minty Chaos Drink for both of them. It did not taste particularly good, but it was pretty calming.
Seeing Roland remain silent, Tilly did not pursue but simply sipped the drink, waiting for him to break the silence.
Roland had a complex feeling toward his "sister". Tilly was not his real sister. Compared to the Princess Tilly he used to know, the current Tilly Wimbledon had become more like a leader. However, he preferred the little girl who used to curl herself up beside Anna in winter, with her feet sticking out from underneath the blanket, and think about what kind of tough questions she could ask the other witches.
Although Roland knew that people would change, Tilly's change was too drastic. Within a few days after Ashes' death, she had grown up. He could see the virulent rancor against the demons in Tilly's eyes. She seldom revealed such hatred, but Roland was very disturbed by her "only request" of seeking revenge from the demons.
She had made up her mind.
The world had suddenly become meaningless to her.
Roland learned from Lan that Ashes could be brought back to life. He should have verified the information before telling Tilly so that he would not give her a false hope. However, Roland realized that as Ashes' death had sunk Tilly into the lowest dejection, Tilly might not survive the Battle of Divine Will in the end.
If he told her about the prospective good news now, she might probably elevate herself from such despondency.
Yet there was a risk he had to take. If Ashes did not come back to life in the end, Tilly would be devastated.
That was why Roland did not say anything for quite a while.
But he had to speak.
Roland knew he had made the decision when he had stopped Tilly.
He would rather put his faith in a faint ray of hope in the future than regret later.
"Brother?" Tilly reminded him, a little bewildered. She averted her eyes slightly to avoid Roland's burning gaze.
Roland took a deep breath and said slowly, "What I'm going to say next may be incredible, but I still want to tell you that — "
"Ashes may be still alive."
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