Release that Witch - Chapter 712: Parade Plan
Lying on the bedside table was his breakfast which was obviously brought up by Anna from the kitchen. Beside the dish, there was a note with a short line written on, “I know that you like sleeping. I’ll leave you alone for your breakfast.”
“Even on this occasion, she can’t forget about her work and got up on time… She is a serious about her work.”
Roland shook his head helplessly and got off of the bed. Even though the castle was supplied with heating, it was not easy to leave the cosy quilt in winter. The water in the wooden basin Anna used to wash her face was still warm. Roland used it to wash his face too, then carried the breakfast and walked up to his office on the third floor.
When he pushed open the office door, he saw Barov and Edith were already waiting for him. Nightingale was at her usual place, her exclusive lounge chair by the fireplace. She was reading a picture-book about witches while chewing dried fish. The relaxing expression on her face looked no different than usual.
“Oh, you came early.” Roland casually greeted them as if there was nothing out of ordinary. “Sit down before you tell me what you came for.”
“Ahem.” The City Hall Director cleared his throat, which looked as if he was used to Roland’s reaction. “Your Majesty, the logistics preparation for attacking the Southernmost Region has been completed. The recruitment work for reserve soldiers is going smoothly. The scale of the First Army will reach 7,000 soldiers next spring, which is unparalleled in the Kingdom of Graycastle.”
“It’s only in the Kingdom of Graycastle,” Edith interrupted unexpectedly. “The forces His Majesty has to deal with aren’t those stupid knights and nobles.”
Roland smiled. He opened the report on his desk and said, “Indeed, if we were to fight against the demons, neither the work of population proliferation nor army construction can be stopped. On the premise not to affect production, the First Army should have as many soldiers as possible.”
Although unwilling to submit, since the king had given his order, Barov had to obey while staring at the Pearl of the Northern Region.
Normally, things like soldier recruitment and logistics for combat readiness should be done by the First Army. But Iron Axe and the few generals under his leadership were lowborn, which meant that they might be good at leading troops for military operations, but they lacked the slightest knowledge of financing and administrative management. So when it came to the issues of money and food, Barov had to offer a helping hand to get things done.
As the scale of the First Army further expanded, such staffing issues would obviously prove difficult. The simple management structure that Roland impetuously established would not meet the requirements for future development. Maybe it was time to make a new round of reform of the military system.
Roland resumed his focus on the report. According to the plan drawn up by Iron Axe, 1000 soldiers were to attack the Southernmost Region. 500 veterans set off from Neverwinter and met with 500 new recruits stationed at the Fallen Dragon Ridge. They then charged toward the Iron Sand City along the Silver Stream Oasis.
As long as they took two 152 mm Longsong Cannons with them, there should be no problem for such a force to conquer the Iron Sand City. But the key to conquering the Sand Nation did not lie in seizing the territory, but in the holy duel, so the role the First Army played was more to escort the leader and maintain order.
The City Hall could manage the logistics work of 1,000 soldiers with high proficiency, and the details involved were getting more and more sophisticated. The situation that the leader had to personally attend to everything had long gone. The preparations were so sophisticated that they were often beyond Roland’s expectation, which was obviously a result of accumulated experience after several actual battles.
“Alright, that’s settled.” Roland closed the report and looked at the Pearl of the Northern Region. “Do you have anything else to say?”
Roland thought that if she was only there to report about the logistic matter, Edith should not have come with Barov,
For she was never that kind of person who liked to grab credit.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” Edith replied, nodding. “I heard from Iron Axe that you’re planning for a cannon exercise?”
“I wonder… can involve the civilians of Neverwinter as spectators.” Her words triggered Roland’s interest. “If your subjects could witness such a spectacular scene, it might greatly increase their enthusiasm for joining the army and their confidence of fighting the demons in the future.”
“How could you involve the civilians in such a matter?” Barov said, frowning, “Haven’t you seen the explosion scenes? What if they’re frightened and think of it as a God’s Punishment?”
“It would then be a God’s Punishment under His Majesty’s control. As long as the propaganda work is well carried out, the fright could be minimized,” Edith said bluntly, “Even a fief lord might occasionally hold public traditional martial arts competitions to decide which knight is more brave and resourceful in battle. Besides offering some entertaining activities to the nobles, it could also demonstrate military power to the subjects.”
“But cannons are nothing like the wooden guns in knights’ hands.”
“We could mark off the viewing territories on the city wall and dispatch police to maintain order. Considering the limitation of space, selling admission tickets could be a sound choice… Two silver royals for one ticket could not only prevent the civilians swarming in but also bring in extra income.” Edith talked with ease and confidence, which obviously showed that she had given thorough consideration to her proposition.” Besides, even the spectators should be sifted. Those who’re qualified to purchase tickets should be between the age of 15 and 30, who would be the main force in every walk of life in Neverwinter in the future. Increasing their faith is helpful in fighting the Battle of Divine Will. For people in some critical departments, such as the City Hall officers, I think watching the exercise should be mandatory for them…”
Roland was very surprised. “Isn’t this exactly a parade? Such a proposal not only connects a live ammunition parade with performance activities, but could show polical sensibility and earn funds. The talent required for the military reform could be right in front of me.”
At this thought, Roland nodded and said, “This sounds good. Do as you proposed.”
“Indeed, Neverwinter needs some inspiring news.”
When May passed through the square with a basket full of Bird Beak Mushrooms in her hand, she found that there was a crowd in the square. Although it was snowing lightly, it did not affect people’s enthusiasm for surrounding the noticeboard.
She walked up out of curiosity. A publicity agent was shouting in the crowd, “His Majesty the king is going to have an open cannon drill three days later, on the west side of the city wall which is the first line for fighting against the demonic beasts. Do you wish to see with your own eyes how the newest and most advanced weapons explode the demonic beasts into pieces? Do you want to sense the shock as a heavenly rage? Go and sign up in the City Hall! As long as you’re qualified, with your ID card and two silver royals, you could get yourself a chance to appreciate the heroic fighting bearings of the western region soldiers. The seats are limited. The opportunities are rare. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait until next winter!”
“Is this a new idea of His Majesty? Even the propaganda wording is so unique.” May twitched her mouth. “Carter probably will be very interested by it. But he doesn’t need to buy a ticket in City Hall. As the Chief Knight, he surely would accompany His Majesty and attend this drill.”
As to herself, she never fancied such stuff related to fighting and killing.