Release that Witch Chapter 585
Three days later, 1,500 soldiers of the Tooth Extraction Campaign boarded their ships and headed for their first destination, Redwater City.
At the same time, according to strategic planning, the other soldiers of the First Army would escort the ammunition and food to the Northern Region. They would follow the inland water path, pass through Redwater River, the King's City river, Sanwan River, and reach Deepvalley Town in the end.
In order to cope with such a large-scale deployment, Roland gathered all the paddle steamers in City of Neverwinter and also rented 30 sailing ships from Margerie's Chamber of Commerce to deliver war materials.
By doing so, he could send three thousand soldiers and artillery ammunition to the Northern Region within a month, which was even before July. In the modern world, transporting a few thousands of people could be completed by just three or four ferries in one trip. But in this era, this was an incredible initiative.
The vanguards would also move towards the Northern Region after they had accumulated enough God's Stones of Retaliation during the Tooth Extraction Campaign, and finally 4,500 soldiers would gather at Deepvalley Town and force the church to have a war with them at Coldwind Ridge.
Of course, there was always a plan B, in case the church responded too quickly, sending a troop of God's Punishment Army to move southward across the Impassable Mountain Range and launched a surprise attack at City of Neverwinter, or that they abandoned Holy City and tried to enter the kingdom from the border between Kingdom of Dawn and Kingdom of Graycastle.
The five hundred men defending City of Neverwinter were prepared for the first situation. Defenders always got a certain advantage, especially with the 152 mm stronghold cannon. As for the second situation, it would result in a lose-lose situation. Under such circumstances, the First Army would resort to a war of attrition and Kingdom of Graycastle would lose lots of people, meanwhile the church would lose Holy City of Hermes and their faith and status would also suffer.
Fortunately, it was almost impossible for the second case to happen. The population of Kingdom of Graycastle would increase after the war, but the church could not afford to lose Holy City, their foundation. As long as the pope was not frantic, they would never abandon their Holy City.
The Pearl of the Northern Region, Edith Kant, followed the first fleet to leave, too.
"Please don't worry Your Majesty, I'll write a letter to inform my father to send half of his grains to the soldiers, and the Lord of Deepvalley Town will also try his best to fulfill any request from the First Army."
"Aren't you going back to the Northern Region?" asked Roland.
"I'd like to follow the first army and to participate in all the coming battles instead of going back home," said Edith, who stood on the side of the ship. She raised her hair and bowed, saying, "Please take care of my brother for me."
"I'll take care of him."
"Thank you, Your Majesty, I'll wait for you in Deepvalley Town, for the real great war."
After the ship left, Nightingale complained. "Tut-tut, the war is a life-and-death matter, but she talks about it as if she's going to a date."
"Uhm... does she?"
"Don't you realize it? The action of raising her hair… There's no wind blowing. Why did she take the trouble to do it?" Nightingale snorted and added, "of course, it may be her habit to seduce men with such a gesture and it's already a habit."
"Are you still upset by the letter?" Roland shook his head and did not know whether to laugh or cry. "I've told you, it's impossible. By the way, did she lie?"
Nightingale reluctantly replied, "Basically, no. At least when she expressed allegiance and talked about those combat arrangements, she said the truth."
"That's enough. Let's go back to the castle." Roland took a breath and said.
City of Neverwinter was under pressure due to the coming war, but there was good news too. The projects that had been planned during Months of Demons were completed one by one, and the basic infrastructure was greatly enhanced.
The most important finished project was the Western Region's own estuary.
After the estuary was completed, Roland informed the Ministry of Construction immediately. Soon some houses, warehouses and temporary docks were built on deepwater port. With a natural deep-water harbor, larger ships could now be built, but as Anna had already focused on producing military equipment, the shipbuilding plan would be postponed until the end of the war.
The supporting hub project, the construction of Highway 67, had also started. That road would begin from the bank of the Redwater River Bridge and connect the industrial area with the south of Shallow Beach. Its construction team was the same as that of the Kingdom Main Street project. Roland also fulfilled his promise, to make nearly half of the workers, that performed outstandingly, qualify as residents of City of Neverwinter and issued identity cards to them.
Besides, the first coke oven in North Slope Mountain was also put into production mode during this period of time.
To be precise, it could have started earlier, but it had had many setbacks during the test run. For example, at the first time of trial, the furnace had not been vented and the air used for dry distillation burnt directly. At another time, the temperature and timing had not been well controlled, resulted in coking failure. There had even been a serious accident, when the exhaust pipe had been clogged with dust and the flame had got out of the furnace. Fortunately, as Summer had the ability to playback what had happened before, the problems of the process were quickly identified and fixed. A new batch of improved coke ovens was in full swing construction.
Besides basic infrastructure, military production also stepped up.
The howitzer, an important new weapon designed for the war, was finally a success.
Despite the limited size of its shells and the limited speed of reloading, it was still a fatal weapon in the radius of ten meters. Combined with debris, it could affect an even bigger area, twice or three times as large as the original coverage.
Several 152 mm artillery could hit targets nearly ten kilometers away, which meant that they were able to strike the rear of the enemy directly, and now the shock waves and debris of the howitzer could destroy the defenseless enemy there completely. This kind of war was completely beyond the imagination of the people in this era.
Unfortunately, a heavy howitzer could only be delivered with the assistance of Hummingbirds and when there was no hard-surface concrete road, only two howitzers could be used on the battlefield.
Even so, Roland was not willing to give up such a powerful firepower.
In contrast, the news about the successful operation of the steam turbine was not so important.
After all, whether it was a new type of steam-powered boat or thermal power generation, there was not enough manpower for research and development. In a sense, after receiving the message from Kingdom of Dawn, City of Neverwinter had entered the wartime system, and all of the resources had to divert to give way to the preparation for war, Anna being no exception.
In the morning, she processed artillery shells and fuzes, and in the afternoon, she cut key parts used in heavy machine guns. Those were what she had to do everyday.
The arsenal operated on three shifts for the production of bullets and revolving rifles. Thanks to Mystery Moon and Candle, all kinds of machine tools ran at maximum capacity in production without a big problem.
Shortly after returning to the office, Roland received a letter carried by the carrier pigeon from Fjords.
This is... the reply from Tilly?
Roland quickly opened the letter and soon finished reading the contents. Pondering for a moment, he asked Nightingale to get Maggie.
"Bring Soraya to catch the leaving fleet. Let Iffy do what's suggested in the letter."