Second World - Chapter 870
"Okay. Now, let's leave the discussion on the supply line for later. We will talk about these two passes the turtle army needs to defend first," John said.
"Out of the two passes, the Themisphylae pass will be the easier one to defend. First, because the pass is narrow. It requires only a small number of capable soldiers to block the pass. Even if the enemy has a large number, they won't be able to utilize it."
"Um… What about the secret passages that can circumvent the pass?" Jack asked.
Everyone turned to him, which made Jack feel uncomfortable. 'Did I say the wrong things?' He asked in his mind.
"Please forgive him, his understanding of this pass is still in the past," John said. He had gotten the report about the ancient battleground from Jeanny, so he knew how Jack was aware of this pass.
Prince Alonzo explained to Jack, "After we lost that pass to the army of Greed in the past, we have later worked to seal all those secret passages. They are all blocked now. No one can get a jump on the defending army using those passages."
"Not only that, they had even installed some extra upgrade to the pass," John added. "The narrow pass had completely been walled off into a fort. On this fort were two large flame towers. It will blast any enemies who try to approach. As long as the fort stands, we can just wait until these flame towers burn them to ashes."
"What about defense against siege weapons? I reckon the orcs brought some, don't they?" Jack asked.
"The reports did indicate so. But the Themisphylae fort is equipped with a stronger protective rune diagram than Fort Garadhor, so it can sustain more punishment. The fort is also equipped with three trebuchets with enhanced ranges. Additionally, an advanced master alchemist from the Alchemist Union is hired to craft the explosive ammo for these trebuchets. These trebuchets and their special ammo can be used to counter any enemy's siege weapons."
"We are proud of the defense we built at that pass, there is nothing to worry about," Ahab said to Jack.
"That's right. Because of the excellent defense of this pass, I will only spare 20,000 natives and 100,000 outworlders to defend this pass," John said. "Outworlders with a high blacksmith and alchemist level will be prioritized. So, they can help the local mechanics to repair the fort and its facilities when needed."
John then pointed to the second pass in the projection. The name that hovered over this part is called Slaughterer Plains. "This pass is a bit more troublesome because it covers a large plain. It can't be exactly called a pass since the opening was just too wide. What defend this pass is a large fort at the center of the plains."
"The fort is just a small piece at the center of the plains, won't the enemy just go around it to head deeper into the country?" Jack asked after seeing the map.
"They can, but without defeating this fort, they will be cut off behind enemy lines. They won't be getting any more supplies since the supplies had to pass by this fort as well. If they do that, we can simply send a part of our force to harass them and prevent them from capturing any more towns and cities, all the while waiting for them to break down due to running out of supplies."
"So, they will most likely try to take down this fort. Luckily, this fort is larger and better equipped than Fort Garadhor. It not only has a better protective rune diagram and is equipped with many long-range defensive weapons to counter siege weapons but there are also deep moats surrounding the fort. It won't be easy approaching this fort."
"Do they have the explosive ammo for their defensive weapons as well?" Jack asked.
"No, the advanced master alchemist in fort Themisphylae is under contract for only that fort. We are not allowed to move his creations to another fort," royal advisor Mason informed.
"So, how many from the turtle army will you stationed inside this fort?" Armstrong asked.
"100,000 natives and 250,000 outworlders will head toward this fort," John answered. "However, even if the fort here is larger than Garadhor, it still cannot hold those many troops. Only around one-third will be stationed inside the fort. The remaining will camp themselves on the low hills by the north of this fort. If the enemy tries to attack the troops stationed on these hills, they will put themselves in between the fort and our troops. They will be at a disadvantageous position."
"With this arrangement, it will leave 80,000 natives and 150,000 outworlders. I suppose this will be the shock army that goes after the supply line?"
"Yes," John confirmed.
"That number is still rather large, won't they be easy to be spotted by the enemy scouts?" Ahab asked.
"We will need some decent number to defend against the enemy from reestablishing the supply lines. We will most likely be spotted sooner or later once we approach the supply line. So, speed is key here. These shock troops will select only those who had rare-grade steeds. The ambush to destroy the depots will be the first step, but the key will be to form a blockage preventing further supplies from going through."
"Once this supply line is cut, the enemies will most likely throw a large force to reestablish the line. The shock army's job is to try to last for as long as possible. I ain't going to lie, this shock army will most likely be obliterated, but the longer they last, the more effects it will cause to the enemy's front line. This will allow both the Dragon army and the Phoenix army to achieve a decisive victory!"
"Only the braves will go with this shock army. I'm not going to point a finger at who should join. You can volunteer yourself."
Everyone had a thoughtful expression upon hearing it.
"Except, of course, for our brave general. He will have to join this shock army for sure," John added.
Jack, "%[email protected]*"
"Allow me to join this shock army then," Duchess Isabelle said. "With me around, we can defend the place better."
"No, you are the only high-level mythical grade in the turtle army. You will need to help defend one of the two passes. If the enemy's war chief is left unchecked, the forts will most likely fall," John said.
"Do we know where the position of the enemy's war chief is?" Jack asked. "I mean, which of the two passes that the Duchess will be defending?"
"The forts on the two passes have teleportation chamber. It is too expensive to teleport an army full of natives, but teleporting only one should not be a problem. The duchess can move between these two passes accordingly using those teleportation chambers," John answered.
"Well, since my wife can't go with this shock army, then I have to be the one who goes," Duke Alfredo declared.
Duchess Isabelle looked at her husband with a complicated look, but she didn't say anything.
Laurent, who was there as well, said after seeing Duchess Isabelle's expression, "Then I will follow as well, I will make sure to keep him alive."
"I have the highest military ranking in this turtle army, I won't leave the most dangerous operation to anyone else. I will go!" Armstrong uttered.
"This is exciting, count me in as well," Commander Quintus joined in.
"Me too!" Ahab and Captain Salem both said.
More and more offered themselves. In the end, almost everybody volunteered to go with the shock army.
"Uh… This is unexpected. You, people, are too patriotic," John sighed. "In the end, I guess I will still have to point fingers at who goes where. Can't have you all go with the shock army, can we? Who will defend the two passes then?"
So, John started distributing the people there. Armstrong and Jeanny would be in charge of the fort at Slaughterer Plains. Ahab and Captain Salem would defend the Themisphylae pass. Both commander Armstrong and Ahab would lead the troops with the fastest mobility to reach the forts first while Jeanny and Captain Salem would lead the rest of the troops. Duke Alfredo, Commander Quintus, Laurent, and Bailey would join Jack in the shock army.
What surprised Jack was John would be joining the shock army as well. John explained that they would need to summon the guild army to help bulk up the forces when the enemy came to recapture the supply route. He added that most of the guild leaders who possessed guild headquarters would be assigned to this shock army as well.
They continued to discuss further the details of the distribution. Afterward, John dismissed everyone. He said that he would be having a meeting with the guild leaders and influential independent players who had answered the war summon quest. He mentioned that one of their allied guilds had another war tool that they could use. He wanted to make sure that they could get that tool for this war. Jeanny went and joined him.
Before they left, Jack asked the two and Lord Commander Armstrong if they could take over leading the turtle army during the initial march. He promised he would join before the army arrived at the passes. There were several things he still needed to take care of.
Armstrong expressed that it was inappropriate for the general of the army to be absent. While John and Jeanny were already used to it. They believed Jack did this to prepare for the coming war, so they agreed to it. Armstrong reluctantly agreed as well.
When Jack was about to leave, Prince Alonzo came and thanked him. When Jack asked the prince what for, Alonzo said it was because Jack had asked Jeanny to warn him about the suspicion of Verremor. They had been keeping watch since. Although they still couldn't prevent Verremor's first strike on the border towns, they managed to act fast due to the early warning and gathered the army outside the capital at the current speed. Otherwise, they might still be waiting for the army to gather at this time.