Chapter 29: Steinbeck Fief’s Current Difficult to Progress Situation Part 2

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Ximengsi Continent’s southern part, the central region of Steinbeck Fief, Stanley City

The new ruler of Steinbeck Fief, Clyde, encountered a big trouble. When former suzerain Duke Andrew had ruled this fief, the original residents had all run away. Now, in this desolate, untamed fief, there were basically no residents at all.

Without residents, no one would re-cultivate this discarded land. Even if Adrian Empire excused Steinbeck Fief from taxes and military service for a year, almost no resident could be found to make use of this time period. In addition, because its infamy as a cursed land was spread far and wide, it was difficult to change anything within a short time.

“Lord Clyde, at least 10,000 people are needed to maintain the fief’s operation. We don’t even have a guard regiment, and a large number of bandit groups roam the vicinity of our fief. Even those brave wanderers don’t dare to come to our fief and settle down.”

“Princess Saras, how many bandit groups are wandering nearby? I will go and deal with them all.”

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“At least a thousand people. All of them came to the neighboring areas to rob lone traveling merchants.”

The predicaments Steinbeck Fief faced were not limited to bandit groups. This fief was surrounded by a hostile camp, i.e. members of “Clark Alliance.” Now, they were completely in the midst of the enemy’s encirclement. Although they had the backing of Adrian Empire that belonged to “Victor Alliance,” because of its recent defeat, Adrian Empire didn’t have the surplus energy to guard peripheral fiefs. Once Steinbeck Fief was besieged, Adrian Empire would only be able to offer words of support. Steinbeck Fief had to rely on itself.

There were several nations belonging to “Clark Alliance” near Steinbeck Fief. The individual constitutents were Adelaide Kingdom, Kruft Kingdom, Cromwell Principality, and Franconia Empire. All of them were warmonger nations, especially Franconia Empire. In “Clark Alliance,” its overall national strength was not any bit inferior to Augusta Empire, which had just defeated Adrian Empire. It was a superpower.

Steinbeck Fief’s current worth was not enough to attract the attention of Franconia Empire. The main concerns were Adelaide Kingdom, Kruft Kingdom and Cromwell Principality. The members of “Clark Alliance” practiced slavery and the serf system was prevalent. Plundering the resources of enemy land via warfare was their customary way.

Clyde looked at the map in Princess Saras’s hands, paying attention to nations around Steinbeck Fief. Other than the human nations, there was a wasteland without any markings on it. Its area was very big, roughly comparable to Steinbeck Fief. Such a large expanse bordering so many nations could not have been abandoned without a reason or else it would have been annexed long ago.

“Princess Saras, what is this region?”

“That is Needham Plain. Originally, it was also Adrian Empire’s territory, but over a hundred years ago, because of a calamitous outbreak of undead, it was discarded. Now, Adrian Empire doesn’t dare to mark this territory as its empire’s domain. It would be too embarrassing whenever others pointed out they had no jurisdiction.”

Allegedly, Steinbeck Fief’s former suzerain Duke Andrew had obtained the “Ghost Introductory Chapter” replica in Needham Plain over a hundred years ago. Because of the undead calamity, the entire Needham Plain was a place where undead beings ruled. This territory was quite troublesome to handle.

Although Light Church existed in Ximengsi Continent, the struggle between religious and imperial authority had always been very intense. Adrian Empire refused to give Light Church the privilege of establishing their church within its territory; therefore, Light Church didn’t send out manpower to purify Needham Plain. The issue of Needham Plain’s undead had been set aside like this for over a hundred years. Fortunately, those undead never left Needham Plain to create a disturbance, so no empires and kingdoms bothered about this matter.

“Needham Plain is an ownerless territory now. Nominally, Adrian Empire has jurisdiction over it, but in fact, they wish someone would clean up that awful mess.”

“Princess Saras, in Needham Plain, are there any other races other than undead beings?”

“There should be other races; merely, they are non-human races.”

“That’s good, I will go there to take a look after I clean up the surrounding bandit groups.”

After Clyde sorted out the official documents, he went out to deal with the nearby bandit groups. Witch Ista provided Clyde a flying magic carpet, which allowed him to freely patrol in the vicinity of Steinbeck Fief. Lucifer stayed behind in Stanley City to take care of things. With her combat power, she would have no problem to deal with ordinary humans or rebelling demonic creatures.

The bandit groups around Steinbeck Fief suffered a fatal disaster. Originally, they had been hiding while preparing to ambush traveling merchants, but black fireballs had descended from the sky and burned them to ashes before they could even scream. Relying on the peculiar sensing abilities of an Evil God, Clyde saw through the concealment of these bandit groups and launched attacks, taking advantage of their unguarded states. He used his black flames to directly wipe out all the bandit groups.

The overall strength of Ximengsi Continent’s Human Race was weak. Humans with a magic profession were few in number, and most magicians could only use simple fireball magic. In these last few years, the different races from other nearby continents had oppressed them. Nevertheless, humans had only barely defended themselves the entire time, they had never even counterattacked. In addition, the Human Race suffered internal divisions. They were divided into three large alliances as well as the Light Church. Basically, they were not united, so the possibility of a successful counterattack was even lower.

His hair waving in the wind, Clyde stood on a flying magic carpet, casually tossing black fireballs below. Lacking even the most basic martial skill, the weak bandit groups on the ground were annihilated. In his eyes, they were nothing. Gazing at the smoldering ashes remaining on the ground, Clyde was expressionless, not because he was cold-blooded but because these bandits weren’t worthy of sympathy.

While patrolling, Clyde noticed a completely unknown armed force stationed on the opposite side of Lawrence River’s floating bridge. Bearing a fluttering flag he had never seen before, he was absolutely certain it wasn’t Adrian Empire’s flag as he had seen Adrian Empire’s flag before. Other than Adrian Empire, all other nearby nations were enemies without a doubt.

It had not even been three days since he had taken over this territory, but an enemy state had already sent armed forces to suppress him. He was simply too unlucky. Clyde controlled the flying magic carpet and ascended to a higher altitude, before gradually approaching that territory. He wanted to see the numbers and strength of that armed force and then decide on his next actions.

…………

Franconia Empire’s capital city, Florence City

In the palace, Emperor Fluntz the Second examined a map in front of him. Tapping his chin, his gaze was centered on Steinbeck Fief’s location. It seemed that he was pondering whether to issue the order for his troops to attack. Behind him, his trusted subordinates, ministers, and all other members of the court expectantly awaited the emperor’s decision.

“Your Majesty the Emperor, please make a decision! Witch Ista has already fled there; this source of this intelligence certainly has no issue. Kruft Kingdom’s army has already set out. It is estimated they will soon enter that fief’s area.”

“Let me think again. Are there any movements from Adelaide Kingdom and Cromwell Principality?”

“They are still gathering their armies; they have yet to set out.”

 

 

 

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