Chapter 577 – Entanglement
There was bound to be difference in opinion anyway so Lorist didn’t really care what Auguslo thought. Even though the man was the emperor, Lorist would still do whatever he wanted.
Continuing to develop the house step by step according to his plan was the best thing to do and there was no need for him to change according to Auguslo’s whims.
In some sense, Lorist was entangled with Auguslo somehow. Back then when Lorist was bringing the northbound convoy back to The Northlands, Charade who was in charge of it back then was used by Auguslo to further his own purposes when they passed through Andinaq. They had helped Auguslo turn from a relegated prince to the de-facto ruler of Andinaq.
Auguslo used the northbound convoy to exterminate any rebellious nobles within the kingdom and robbed power from his elder brother, the first highness. In the end, he also forced the refugees of the kingdom to tag along with the northbound convoy to force it to its doom so that he could enjoy its benefits. That was the reason Charade and Potterfang didn’t have the slightest goodwill towards Auguslo.
With the northbound convoy facing oblivion, Lorist had to seek them out and leave The Northlands and come to an agreement with Auguslo. He swore allegiance to the true heirs of Krissen’s legacy, the Andinaq royal family, in exchange for Silowas to be given to the house as their hereditary dominion.
In the end, Lorist led the convoy to cross Lake Egret at night and attack the duchy of Madras to open up a path for the convoy to travel north. Auguslo also used that chance to take Yungechandler from Madras and claim it as Andinaq’s territory.
When they were working together to fight against Madras, Auguslo wanted to use the northbound convoy to deal with Second Prince Iblia’s army as well and sent for people to destroy Kobo’s walls, intentionally plotting against him. Yet, as fate wanted it, Lorist managed to arrive at The Northlands with the convoy intact.
During the next following years, Lorist and Auguslo had their own things to be busy with. After Auguslo defeated First Prince Redlis’s invading army and signed a peace treaty with Duke Madras, Andinaq’s territory doubled. He won the reputation as one of the new genius military minds of the new generation. He continued to build his army for his dream of reuniting the empire.
Lorist on the other hand defeated Duke Loggins when he returned to The Northlands and wiped out the magic beast wave that came to terrorize them on a yearly basis. He also defeated the second prince, who was pining for House Norton’s wealth, causing the second prince to send a blademaster to assassinate Lorist. He then ended up among the mountain barbarians. By the time he returned home, Lorist led an attack on Iblia’s capital,, Windbury, and captured the second prince and formed the alliance of four houses. He stabilized The Northlands and went to his dominion, Silowas, for the first time while he transported the second prince for Auguslo to deal with.
What he didn’t expect to find was that the island had been messed up badly by Auguslo’s tax collection officer and Seaview Manor had been occupied by some unruly descendants of other nobles. The subordinates Auguslo left behind also occupied the fertile land themselves and caused lots of trouble. Lorist decided to make a strong stand and captured the tax collection official and the colonel that was sent there, imprisoned the young nobles and attacked Farama Village before heading to the imperial capital to see Auguslo.
Auguslo on the other hand was busy building up his army of 300 thousand by emptying the kingdom’s wealth in it. He was going to reunite the empire with only 300 thousand men and was feeling very good about himself. When he met Lorist, he even tried to convince House Norton to join the attempt. However, Lorist brought the tax collection official, colonel, and noble descendants there to him at that moment, which ended up being quite humiliating for him.
When Auguslo was about to defend the tax collection official, Lorist killed him on the spot. That was the first huge conflict between Lorist and Auguslo. Auguslo ordered his blademaster to give Lorist a lesson, but was surprised to find that the result was the opposite he had hoped for. Later, Lorist brought out King Iblia, the second prince, that had been taken captive. He was one of the main perpetrators of the civil war in the empire. Auguslo was overjoyed and Lorist used that opportunity to leave the imperial capital.
However, the tax collection official’s elder brother and Auguslo’s favored subordinate, General Count Aslan, brought five thousand men to stop Lorist. Auguslo pretended not to notice. Surprisingly, Lorist used 500 guards to ruin all five of the camps of Count Arslan and defeated them horribly. Even Count Arslan died from the battle. Just as Auguslo was still recovering from the shocking battle, the war with Redlis wa just about to begin, so he had no choice but to give up on pursuing the matter with Lorist.
When Lorist left the imperial capital, he went to Morante to obtain the glassmaking methods and got to know about the upcoming implementation of the nobility system by the Trade Union. He heard that the big seven guilds were trying to conquer Silowas, so to prevent the island from falling into Chikdor’s hands, Lorist intentionally used the glassmaking method to incite war between the Trade Union and Teribo to force the Trade Union’s focus to turn to the southern part of the continent, kicking them off on the route of expansion.
Lorist didn’t expect that even though he had prevented Chikdor’s plans from coming to fruition, Silowas would be attacked by the slaver kingdom of Hanayabarta. To have his revenge, he led his troops to the distant Hanayabarta archipelago and exterminated the whole kingdom before taking the archipelago under house rule.
As Lorist was preparing for that excursion, Auguslo paid a huge price to forcefully cross Cloudsnap Mountains during a harsh snowstorm and miraculously took Redlis’s capital, Frederika. King Redlis, the first prince of the former empire, disappeared ever since and the kingdom of Redlis was no more.
That battle shocked the whole Grindia continent. Auguslo was named the new northern wargod, but he let the victory get to his head and made one mistake after another after he got the upper hand. He wanted to use force to deal with the nobles that aligned themselves with Redlis and made unreasonable demands to the four central dukes. In the end, the two factions united against Auguslo and defeated his army time and again.
At that moment, one of the big seven guilds, Wessia, started to pine after Frederika and Bodolger’s rich resources and interfered with the war. Auguslo on the other hand fell sick badly after overexerting himself and crossing the mountains during winter, allowing Princess Carey, the daughter of the late first highness, to stage a revellion and cut off the supplies for Auguslo’s army. The forces at the frontlines crumbled and Auguslo was trapped in Frederika.
Faced with such a desperate situation, Auguslo barely managed to survive his sickness and left most of his forces to defend Frederika before he left with an elite force of a few thousand through a secret path. He would cross Cloudsnap Mountains again to retake Andinaq and deal with the traitors. But due to his bad luck, he wandered into the place the first prince was hiding at and fought to a pyrrhic victory with the first prince’s personal forces. Even though he managed to kill the first prince, who was another main cause of the empire’s civil war, Auguslo’s forces were greatly wounded and he could no longer take back his kingdom.
During the time when he was at his lowest, Lorist was busy developing his dominion after returning from a distant excursion. He reorganized his army and was going to tackle the backer of the Redlis regime, House Fisablen. He wanted to take the provinces in the northeastern area. It came as a surprise to him that Auguslo would show up within his dominion and request Lorist’s help to restore him to his throne.
That was the third time Lorist met Auguslo in person. After much negotiation, Lorist got the right to rule Delamock and Winston from Auguslo. Those two provinces would become administrative areas of House Norton. He also managed to win the dominions of his allies, namely, Kenmays, Felim and Shazin, before agreeing to deploy his forces to retake the kingdom for Auguslo.
Lorist’s forces attacked Sidgler from sea during winter and exterminated the duchy of Madras before Tigersoar was sent to Andinaq to take the imperial capital. The rebellious nobles were all exterminated and Auguslo was restored to his throne. At the same time, House Norton’s amazing military prowess began to make Auguslo wary.
After helping Auguslo, Lorist turned his gaze to the decaying kingdom of Iblia. He led his forces to take Windbury by surprise and chased Duke Fisablen, who was prepared to reshape the kingdom to suit his needs, away, thereby exterminating Iblia for good. After that, the Nortons greatly wounded House Fisablen’s forces and the 80 plus thousand of the four central duchies and cut off all relation between House Fisablen and the four central duchies.
However, the duke’s reputation of wargod of the plains wasn’t just for show. Even though he suffered a loss in Southern, he managed to deal Lorist a huge blow at Wild Husbandry. Duke Fisablen gathered 100 thousand grassland barbarians to lay in ambush in Wild Husbandry and almost defated the newly formed Jaeger legion in its entirety. That was the biggest loss Lorist sustained since he took over the house.
Just when Lorist thought that he could use the four allied houses to force Duke Fisablen to surrender and get the wealth of House Fisablen for his allies and him, Auguslo interfered and barged into House Fisablen’s territory and made a deal with Duke Fisablen. House Fisablen was declared once more a part of Andinaq and Auguslo took the duke’s granddaughter, Cacanne, as his wife, thwarting Lorist’s plans and allowing House Fisablen to live.
Right after that, Auguslo planned to attack the four central duchies and managed to convince Lorist and Duke Fisablen to offer aid. During that battle, Lorist made up with Fisablen and no longer considered each other enemies, restoring a friendly trade relation. The duke also said that he wasn’t interested in fighting Lorist for supremacy over the northeastern area and would be willing to settle into the new order set by the Nortons.
After attacking the four central duchies, Auguslo turned his sights to the remaining provinces by the empire currently occupied by the Trade Union. Once more, he got Lorist’s help to conquer Anderwoff, Majik, Bodolger and Kanbona while exterminating one of the big seven guilds, Wessia. Auguslo also conquered the northwestern area. His own forces with the allied noble army and House Norton’s forces allied together to form the million-man army that was stationed at the borders of the Trade Union.
Auguslo thought that he wouldn’t have to actually fight a battle and could force the Trade Union to surrender with pressure alone. They would return the two provinces that were still occupied and sign a peace agreement with him. But the Trade Union chose instead to send the windstorm swordsaint to the negotiation to bring Auguslo and all the other nobles to Morante to confess their sins while the Trade Union launched their own attack to catch the million-man army off-guard.
Lorist stepped forward at the crucial moment and fought to a bloody draw with the windstorm swordsaint. House Norton’s Firmrock legion managed to hold the Union forces back and won enough time for Auguslo to gather his forces and mount a counterattack. After that, House Norton’s three legions joined Auguslo in wiping out the main force of the Trade Union.
That was the time Lorist and Auguslo’s relationship was at their closest. Auguslo was filled with respect for Lorist, a swordsaint. That was why after he suffered such huge losses from the three years of war on Falik Plains and requested Lorist for aid, Lorist agreed.
After that, House Norton’s Northsea Fleet exterminated Invincible Fleet and took Morante from Hidegold Bay, turning the tables on the battle at Falik Plains immediately and forcing the Union forces out. Lorist saved the nobles of Andinaq from losing all their forces and emerged victorious in the great Battle of Bluwek. In another three years’ time, he would tear the Trade Union into multiple pieces and force it to surrender in the end.
But now that Auguslo no longer had the external threat that was the Trade Union and gotten his dream of becoming the emperor that restored the Krissen Empire, he became even more wary of House Norton’s might. Even though Lorist had taken up the mantle of the kingdom’s swordsaint, Auguslo was still filled with suspicion towards House Norton’s power. His suggestion of downsizing their forces was merely a test he had for Lorist. Lorist was certain that the new emperor would definitely think up lots of other methods to test the patience of Lorist and the alliance of four houses.