Release that Witch Chapter 522
Calvin Kant, the Lord of the City of Evernight and Duke of the Northern Region shouted. He rose suddenly and stared at the messenger with disapproval, toppling his water cup from the side table. The cup hit the floor with a smash, making a crisp, clear sound.
"Your Grace, I saw it with my own eyes!" said the messenger, further lowering his head. "The rebel king breached the city wall of King's City in just one day. Even the king himself failed to escape. I'm afraid he's probably dead now."
"How... could this happen?" Calvin murmured. "It's King's City!"
Its blue stone city wall is more than 54 yards high and guarded by thousands of soldiers equipped with catapults and snow powder. No one can break through that city's defenses unless he has an army of 20 to 30 thousands. Even if Prince Roland had such a huge army, it's still hard to believe that he captured the city in merely one day!
"They had invincible firearms," the messenger said in a trembling voice possibly caused by tiredness from traveling the whole night or the shock he had experienced in the battlefield. "They could fire without a break. Their weapons were just too powerful for the knights and even the crazed army of the king. No one could stop them. Anyone who got close to them died or was severely wounded... Compared to their firearms, the king's flintlocks were cheap, useless iron sticks."
Calvin's mind was a blank. His whole world was turned upside down. He felt it was all over.
He had received an order from Timothy, which had required that he should send an army to support King's City. As the new Duke of the Northern Region, he must follow the king's order and after some discussion, he had assembled an army of 2,500 by choosing soldiers from troops of the Horsehead Haws, the Snow Fox Lista and his own families. This army had been planning to set out after the snow melted and to arrive at the King's City two to three weeks after he had received the order. He had never thought that the army would miss the war in King's City as a siege warfare usually took months.
The army was mostly comprised of mercenary and freemen. Not many knights or serfs were in it, since the plowing season was about to start. However, no matter what kind of army he had sent out, he had already done something that the rebel king would consider guilty of rebellion. He was afraid that his good days were going to be over very soon.
"Go! Bring my eldest daughter to my room!" he shouted to a guard by his side.
Edith soon walked into the study, wearing fitting clothes and carrying a training sword. Her hair was done up in a bun, and her nose was dotted with small beads of sweat. She had been practicing with her sword as usual and now seemed slightly displeased. "I've asked you not to disturb me when I'm practicing."
"I know I promised but we're in big trouble!" Calvin urgently repeated what the messenger had told him and asked her, "What should we do?"
He looked at his daughter, eager to hear a solution. Edith Kant, the brightest Pearl of the Northern Region, was not only a beauty but also a naturally talented politician and strategist. She had contributed greatly to the success of her father's rising from an Earl to the Duke of the Northern Region and even the sons of the Kant Family were overshadowed by her.
She was startled hearing that Prince Roland had conquered King's City in just a day but quickly recovered and said calmly, "Now you understand why I didn't agree to marry Timothy?"
Calvin stared in surprise and asked, "You knew that he would end up like this?" Timothy had stayed in the Northern Region after he defeated the rebellious Duke Ise and like many other men, had his eyes on the Pearl of the Northern Region. But she skillfully turned down the messenger he sent to her. Her father was confused and even blamed her for refusing the king since if she had married Timothy and become the queen as many girls had dreamed of, the Kant Family's status would have been further secured.
"You mean his city was occupied in one day? No, I didn't expect that." Edith untied her hair band to let her long green hair down. "I just felt he was not the right person."
"Not the right person... Who is the right person is for you? Though his reign turned out to be quite short, he was still the king of the Kingdom of Graycastle at that time!" Calvin complained in his heart but did not tell his daughter what he thought. He had made his mind to pass his Duke title to Edith who he believed would bring a brighter future to the family, compared with her two brothers, if she refused to marry anyone.
"Anyway," Edith bent to pick up some broken pieces of the porcelain water cup. "First, you have to order the army to retreat."
"That's not a problem," she arranged the broken pieces of the cup to represent the three locations and said. "You can send someone to Deepvalley Town today. If he sets out now from here, he'll arrive at the town by evening. Tomorrow, he can take a boat to King's City and reach it at least one day before the army. No matter which route the army took, they'll end up on the main road leading to the city's north gate, so if the one you send walks in the opposite direction to the army, he'll meet and stop them in the suburbs of King's City."
"I see." The Duke patted his head heavily and thought, "I should have thought of this solution. The news was just too sudden and astonishing for me to react calmly and quickly." He said, "I'll write a letter now! No, I'll send out a guard with my keepsake to deliver the command! Guard!"
A guard came to receive the order and then quickly left. Edith said slowly, "Father, do you think we can withstand Prince Roland's attack?"
A shiver went through Calvin. He knew that the outer wall of King's City, which had been twice as sturdy as that of his City of Evernight could not stand long in the suppression of Roland's powerful firearms. He replied, "I don't think we can."
"So, it's not enough just to withdraw the army." She shrugged and added, "Don't forget that it was Timothy who made you a Duke. It's natural for Prince Roland to consider us his enemies and it's just a matter of time for him to destroy us. Under such circumstances, we have to be more proactive."
You mean that I should swing to Prince Roland?" Calvin hesitated. "But why should he trust me?"
"Show your sincerity," Edith said softly. "Most nobles hearing the news will be intimidated by Prince Roland's overwhelming victory over Timothy and won't be able to fight in unison against him. Given that, we would have to surrender to him as early as possible. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this way, so we have to show sincerity great enough to impress him."
Before Calvin could work out what she meant, Edith drew out her wooden training sword and smashed two of the broken pieces of the water cup with a smile.
"I think the Haws Family and the Lista Family would make great presents. What do you think, father?"