Masked Knight – Chapter 106

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The Chaos in the Southeast

 

All the nobles and officials in the main hall turned pale with fright when they saw Camus violently kick over the golden wine barrel. They did not dare to say anything because of Camus’ status. Instead, they secretly took a look at the expressions of the Xier’s Governor-General and the Duke.

 

Xier’s Governor-General showed an unpleasant expression, but the person in front of him was a commander that commanded hundreds of thousands of soldiers. As a result, he did not dare to get angry at Camus even though he was the Governor-General. His facial muscles continued to tremble and he could not help but look at Rody.

 

Rody was excited in his heart, but he showed a calm expression. He thought of the information about Camus, which he had obtained from asking Sieg and Nicole.  

 

Camus was the Regiment Commander of the Southern Legion. At that moment, he was fifty-three years old. When he was eighteen, he had obtained the title of a Grade 1 swordsman. He was an ordinary citizen and had joined the military after he graduated.

 

At first, he served as the Deputy Commander of the First Cavalry Regiment in the Northwest. After that, he was promoted to Commander. When the late Duke of Tulip was appointed as the Regiment Commander of the Northwest Legion, Camus was promoted as the Deputy Regiment Commander.

 

After he was transferred to the Central Cavalry, he continued to serve as the late Duke’s assistant and became the Deputy Regiment Commander of the ‘Lightning God’s Whip’.

 

Even though he was born as an ordinary civilian, he became one of the Empire’s highest ranking officer within twenty years.  After that, the Emperor had bestowed the title of Baron onto him. Three years later, he became an Earl.

 

Since the founding of the Empire, not including the people that founded the nation, there were less than ten people who started off as an ordinary civilian and then rose through the ranks and obtained the title of an Earl.

 

Camus was resolute and courageous. He also knew how to use tactics. His only shortcoming was that he was extremely proud. He had served as the aide of the Duke of Tulip for twenty years. However, Camus finally severed his relationship with the late Duke for some unknown reasons. Originally, Camus could be considered the second-best commander after the late Duke of Tulip. However, they suddenly had a falling out due to some unknown reason, and Camus had resigned from the ‘Lightning God’s Whip’. Eventually, Camus was transferred to the South and was appointed as the Regiment Commander of the Southern Legion. In the last five years, ever since the death of the late Duke, he had never returned to the Imperial Capital.

 

It was not a secret to the nobles that the Regiment Commander, Camus and late Duke of the Tulip Family were on bad terms. This time, the Emperor had chosen to send Rody to where Camus was instead of anywhere else. This would probably make things more even more difficult for Rody.

 

A few years ago, the southern hill tribes had staged a rebellion. This fiercely shook the three Southeast provinces. The Xier province was located nearest to the mountains. After hundreds of years, their blood was mixed as the people intermarried with one another. As a result, many of the residents were descendants of the mountain tribes.  That rebellion nearly engulfed the entire Xier province. Camus relied on his own marvelous military ability. He cleverly used various tricks to sow discord between the mountain tribes and defeated them one by one. Finally, the mountain barbarians were driven back to the mountains.

 

However, Camus was not a bloodthirsty person. After he had crushed the rebel forces, he took advantage of the hatred between the mountain tribes and separated them. He also skillfully balanced the power of the three provinces. This was especially true for the Xier province as thirty percent of the locals in the Xier province were the mountain tribes. There was an intense hatred between the people of the Empire and the mountain tribes. The situation in the Southeast only stabilized because Camus was watching over these provinces.

 

In the last few years, the people of the grasslands had separated from the Empire and formed the Great Moon Kingdom. As a result, the mountain tribes were greatly influenced and many ambitious people thought of emulating the Great Moon Kingdom. They wanted to break away from the Empire’s rule. However, Camus’ presence in the South deterred the mountain tribes from doing anything rash.

 

Rody really admired and respected the Regiment Commander Camus. After all, he was not really the Duke of Tulip Family and did not know about the enmity between Camus and the Tulip Family. As a young soldier of the Empire, he just revered and respected Camus.

 

Taking a deep breath, Rody spoke in a calm voice, “Your Excellency Camus, please have a seat. I just arrived in the Purple Leaf City today. I was wondering when to pay you a visit at the Southeast barracks. However, you are already here.”

 

Camus just nodded his head. He then looked at Rody and coldly said, “Your Excellency the Duke, I am not here to drink wine. I just have an important matter to discuss with the Governor-General. In my opinion, there is no more need to drink the wine. Everybody is dismissed!”

 

Camus turned his body and directed that last sentence to the other nobles.

 

“Important matter?” Rody frowned.

 

Camus calmly looked at Rody and the Governor-General as he coldly said, “Governor-General, please give the order! Starting from today, the Purple Leaf City will be on alert! The whole of Xier Province will be on alert, and all the defenders must be ready for combat. My Southern Legion will also cooperate with the native defenders. I had received the latest news that the mountain people are beginning to move.”

 

“What?” The Governor-General immediately stood up and stammered, “No… This cannot be… The day before yesterday, the elders of the tribes just came to visit me…”

 

Camus sneered and mocked him, “And he also gave you a few beautiful mountain women. Am I right?”

 

“Nonsense! There was no such thing!” The Governor-General’s face turned red, and then he said respectfully, “Since Camus said that there are important matters to discuss, the banquet shall end here now… Your Excellency the Duke, is that alright with you?”

Rody stood up and loudly replied, “I was entrusted by His Majesty! Since there is an important military task, this must not be delayed! The banquet will end right away!”

 

Since the Governor-General and the Duke had spoken, the guests in the hall immediately got up and started to leave. Some of them were shocked and frightened by what Camus said earlier. They were afraid that something serious was about to happen. There were even some that had already planned their escape from the Southeast and had already figured out how to protect their property…

 

The young women who accompanied them to drink wine also left the main hall. In a short time, the only people left in the main hall was Rody, Camus and the three Governors-General of the Southeast provinces.

 

Camus looked serious and spoke sternly, “Governors-General, the current situation is very complicated. According to the latest information I received, nineteen mountain tribes held an assembly ten days ago, at the Flame Tribe’s Nine Songs Mountain. The nineteen mountain tribes had already elected the Flame Tribe’s Wuya as the Tribal Chief!”

 

“Tribal Chief!” Xier’s Governor-General’s expression changed as he loudly shouted, “Are they crazy? According to the decree of the Empire, the tribes are not allowed to appoint a tribal chief! They are even forming alliances now. Do they want to start a rebellion?” The other two Governors-General’s expression also changed.

 

Camus looked at the silent Rody and slowly said, “Rebellion? Ten years ago, they had already rebelled once! That was nothing, but this time, they have blatantly violated the Empire’s decree by forming an alliance and electing a Tribal Chief without permission. Hmph! It seems that their leader is a very brave and ambitious person!”

 

Xier’s Governor-General gritted his teeth in hatred and said, “Bastard! According to the decree of the Empire, the tribes are not to elect a tribal chief, and the tribes must honor His Majesty as the Tribal Chief! They dared to do this, are they not afraid of being executed? I… I will immediately report to the Imperial Capital!”

 

 

Camus looked at him with disdain and simply said, “This incident had already happened. The news that I received had not changed and it was delayed by ten days. Right now, the most important thing to do is to restrain the soldiers and make preparations. If I am not wrong, they will raise their flags in less than a month! The situation in the South is complicated as many of the defenders are also mountain people. This is why it is more important to stabilize the troops now! The two of you, Governors-General, please rush back to your respective provinces! I will immediately dispatch the Southern Legion to give assistance!

 

Camus paused for a while and slowly said, “Right now, the problem is like a raging flame. With a small spark, the cities will start to burn! Currently, the Purple Leaf City has thirty thousand defenders. Among them, ten thousand are mountain people. Governor-General, please send someone to keep a close watch on them. Also, give the order for them to shut down the barracks and make sure that they do not contact anyone from outside!”

 

Xier’s Governor-General was trembling nonstop and said, “Could it be that these guys are going to turn renegade? I… I will immediately mobilize the garrison and immediately arrest them all!”

 

Idiot! Camus scolded in his heart. Arrest? They have ten thousand infantries and are well equipped. How are you going to arrest them? Your twenty thousand undisciplined defenders would easily be routed by the ferocious mountain people, in just two encounters!

 

Rody thought for a moment and then he slowly spoke, “Governor-General, in my opinion, we should not hastily arrest them right now! Now that the mountain tribes have formed an alliance, the first thing they will do is to contact the mountain soldiers in the southeast! These soldiers may be affiliated to the Empire but ultimately, they are still foreigners. If someone incited a rebellion, there will definitely be some of them who will follow! However, if we suddenly arrest them first, those who did not plan to revolt will also be forced to revolt!”

 

Xier’s Governor-General immediately laughed and said, “Yes, yes! Your Excellency the Duke is right! In this case, what do you suggest?”

 

Rody secretly frowned and said, “Just follow Camus’ idea and give an order to shut down the barracks! Nobody is allowed to enter or leave without permission! Nobody is allowed to get in contact with anyone from the outside! After that, mobilize the army as a deterrence!” Having said that, he looked at Camus and asked, “Your Excellency Camus, how many soldiers can you take out from the Southern Legion?”

 

Camus showed a complicated expression as he looked at Rody. He thought deeply for a moment and then he replied. “Fifty thousand is the maximum! I can’t take out any more soldiers! I need to retain enough troops for the Southeast. This is because when the mountain tribes finally start their rebellion, the Southeast Legion would be at the frontlines to put down the rebellion!”

 

Rody nodded his head and said, “I heard before arriving in the city that there are two large infantry units in the Xier Province. One of them is stationed in the Purple Leaf City.  The other one is divided into five units, with one thousand soldiers each, and were stationed at various regions in Xier Province. Am I right?”

 

“Yes.” Xier’s Governor General immediately nodded his head. He then bowed and said, “Your Excellency the Duke is clear in understanding the minute details!”

 

Rody calmly nodded his head and thought in his heart. I originally came to the South to do my job. If I had not gathered any information in advance, I will just end up being fooled by all of you, corrupted officials.

 

He then looked at the other two Governors-General. The other two immediately noticed him and replied, “I have four thousand mountain army in my garrison.”

 

“I have five thousand people at my place but they are all reserve army.”

 

Rody secretly sighed and could not help but cursed in his heart. These useless garrisons! They knew that the mountain barbarians are ready to create trouble and yet they still dared to recruit so many mountain people as their defenders! It is obvious that if these mountain people want to revolt, they may even provide weapons to the enemy! They are really extremely stupid!

 

Rody did not know that there had been no wars in the South for ten years and the military discipline had become lax. The officers were corrupted but were not overboard because of  Camus’ presence. As a result, they could only skimp as much as possible by hiring the mountain people. The military salary of the mountain people was much lower than the soldiers of the Empire. There were a lot of cases like this. In order to fill their pockets, the military officers did not care that much. They had always thought that the mountain people had already surrendered for so many years and would no longer revolt. There were even those that yelled the nonsensical slogan, ‘Utilize barbaric methods to rule the barbarians’. They did not know that that method was feasible only if it was applied under an extremely strong central leadership. That was because there was a strong army that could be used as a backup as deterrence. That must also be supplemented with appeasing methods to support it.

 

However, the current strength of the Empire was weak and the defenders were scattered. The swords in their hands were blunt and yet they still shouted the slogan of “utilize barbaric methods to rule barbarians”. Moreover, they took the initiative of giving swords to the enemy. Naturally, the enemy would use the swords against them when the need arise.

 

According to Rody’s rough calculation, in the three Southeast provinces, the local garrisons had about one hundred thousand defenders, out of which thirty thousand were mountain people. The ratio of population was also about at this level. However, when Rody thought of false military reports and embezzlement, his calculations might not be accurate.

 

Rody did not want to bother that much. Speaking as a Duke he requested the other two Governors-General to leave Purple Leaf City and return to their respective provinces.

 

Camus had brought ten thousand of the Southern Legion’s cavalry when he was on the way to the city. and the cavalry was waiting outside the city. At his own discretion,  he had earlier already dispatched twenty thousand soldiers to the other two provinces in the Southeast to assist the local Governors-General.

 

After Camus had briefed them, he immediately left the city. When he left, he casually nodded his head to Rody but he did not look at Xier’s Governor-General at all.

 

After Camus was gone, Xier’s Governor-General felt unhappy. He coldly snorted and said, “This Camus! He did not show any respect for Your Excellency the Duke, at all!”

 

Rody calmly smiled and thought to himself, Camus not showing respect for me is a small matter. I think you are angry because he did not show respect for you. Rody calmly spoke, “The current situation is urgent. His Excellency Camus is busy with important matters.”

 

Xier’s Governor-General tried to flatter Rody, so he just laughed awkwardly.

 

That afternoon, an order was passed from the Governor-General’s mansion. The Purple Leaf City was taking strict precautions.

 

Rody took Randt with him and quietly looked around the streets. He saw the local defenders running around the Purple Leaf City in a disorderly manner. Besides that, many of the local defenders took the opportunity to blackmail the merchants and extort money. When Rody saw this, he secretly gritted his teeth. This kind of army does not even need to wait for the mountain tribes to start a rebellion. As long as there is a mutiny from the mountain defenders, the Purple Leaf City will immediately be lost!

 

Rody looked at the huge city walls that were like a fortress and sighed in his heart as he thought. What is the use of tall city walls? With lousy personnel, the walls are just decoration! Looking at the behavior and actions of the three Governors-General and the other noble officers, saying that they can properly manage the place is a joke! If it was not for Camus watching over the Southeast, half of the money used to construct the walls would have entered the pockets of the corrupted officers. It is similar to Watt Fortress. A wall that is supposed to be twelve meters tall is actually less than ten meters…

 

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